Ty Cobb and the Book That Wasn’t

Terry Kay (b. 1938) of Hart County, Georgia, is the author of twelve novels, including the celebrated coming-of-age tale The Year the Lights Came On (1976), which drew on his memories of the small town of Royston in the 1940s. Kay enjoyed a long career in journalism and public relations, interviewing some of the world’s most famous entertainers in his work as a film and theater critic; his novels The Year the Lights Came On and Shadow Song (1994) grew out of magazine pieces he’ d written. His 1990 novel To Dance with the White Dog, inspired by his parents’ long marriage, was internationally successful and was adapted for television for the Hallmark Hall of Fame series—as were The Year the Lights Came On and After Eli (1981). Kay has also published a children’s book, To Whom the Angel Spoke: A Story of the Christmas (1991), and a collection of columns and essays, Special Kay: The Wisdom of Terry Kay (2000). One of Georgia’s best-known living writers, Kay has received numerous honors, including the Georgia Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Stanley W. Lindberg Award for outstanding contribution to the literary heritage of Georgia. He resides in Athens with Tommie, his wife of fifty-three years. (Inducted in 2006)