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I believe in the power of words to penetrate deeply and subtly into real past worlds and events; I disdain the use of words to distort, conceal or rearrange when performed in the name of nonfiction.

Melissa Fay Greene

Nonfiction Mentor

Melissa Fay Greene is the author of six books of nonfiction: Praying for Sheetrock (1991), The Temple Bombing (1996), Last Man Out (2003), There Is No Me Without You (2006), No Biking in the House Without a Helmet (2011), and The Underdogs (2016), and is the Kirk Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Agnes Scott College.

Greene’s work has been translated into a dozen languages and has been honored with a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Book Award nominations, a National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, the ACLU National Civil Liberties Award, the Hadassah Myrtle Wreath Award, the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Georgia Book Award, a Lyndhurst Foundation Fellowship, the Georgia Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, and induction into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Sheetrock was named one of the “Top 100 Works of American Journalism of the 20th Century” by a panel convened by NYU. She has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Newsweek, LIFE,, and other periodicals. A Macon native and 1975 graduate of Oberlin College, Melissa and her husband, defense attorney Don Samuel, are the parents of nine, the in-laws of three, and the grandparents of two.