Dot Jackson was born to Appalachian parents in Miami in 1932, and gave up her college studies of music and dance to become a writer. She turned an abiding curiosity into a lifelong career in newspapers, where she covered the mountain regions of the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee, going from murder trials to snake-handling prayer meetings to some of the hardest-fought environmental battles of our times.
As an investigative reporter for the Charlotte Observer, she wrote about, and often brought to justice, the industrial polluters whose stories garnered Jackson several Pulitzer Prize nominations and a National Conservation Writer of the Year award. She also has collaborated on several acclaimed books of non-fiction.
Jackson, now 73, is co-founder and on-site manager of the developing Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. She has spent her life exploring the dusty back roads and forgotten hamlets of Appalachia, and still fights to preserve the culture of this threatened region.
Refuge is Dot Jackson’s first book-length work of fiction. It spent many years as a yellowing manuscript under the bed – and more recently was stored in a mentor’s refrigerator, to protect it from the hazards of life in the intensely rustic setting in which its author thrives.