Sea Jade Phyllis Whitney
A Place for Ann Singing Stones
Phyllis Ayame Whitney was born September 25, 1903 in Yokohama, Japan. Her father, from Iowa, and her mother, from Ohio, lived in Japan, where her father was an exporter. Ms. Whitney began writing when she was a teenager. When her father died in 1918, Phyllis and her mother traveled to San Francisco by ocean liner. She and her mother lived in Berkeley, California and San Antonio, Texas for a time, but then Ms. Whitney's mother died in 1922. Phyllis was sent to Chicago to live with her aunt and there she graduated from high school in 1924. In her young life, she had already written a great deal about the travels she experienced, a theme that would continue throughout her life. She sold her first story to the Chicago Daily News and hundreds more to the pulps and church newspapers. Working in the children's room at the Chicago Public Library and in bookstores, she married George Garner in 1925 and together they had one daughter, Georgia. During the 1940's, Phyllis Whitney was Children's Book Editor of the Chicago Sun's Book Week (1942-1946) and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1947-1948). In 1941, her first book for young people, A Place for Ann, was published by Houghton Mifflin. In 1943, her first adult suspense novel, Red is for Murder, was published by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company. She also taught juvenile fiction writing courses at Northwestern University in 1945 and at New York University from 1947-1958. Her book, Mystery of the Haunted Pool, won an Edgar Award for best children's mystery in 1961, and three more of her mysteries were nominated for Edgars. In 1988, the Mystery Writers of America awarded her the prestigious Grand Master Award. Today, Ms. Whitney lives in Virginia and she is at work on her autobiography.

—Vicki Palmquist

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