Wakestone Books

Biography of Wilma Dykeman

1920: Born in Lynn Cove at the head of Beaverdam Creek north of Asheville, North Carolina

1929: Parents lose savings when area banks fold at the start of the Great Depression

1934: Father, Willard J. Dykeman, dies, leaving her alone with her mother Bonnie Cole Dykeman

1936: Attends Asheville Biltmore College

1938: Attends Northwesterm University.  Studies acting under Alvina Krause

1940: Is introduced to James R. Stokely, Jr. by Thomas Wolfe's sister Mabel.  Marries him
 three months later.

1942: Builds Wakestone, a small stone cottage in the English Mountains of eastern Tennessee

1949: First son, Dykeman Cole Stokely, is born

1951: Second son, James R. Stokely III, is born

1953: Moves to Newport, Tennessee

1955: The French Broad is published.  It becomes one of the most widely read books of the
 Rivers of America series, and it helps to define the culture of western North Carolina.

1956: Receives a Guggenheim Fellowship

1961: The Tall Woman, her first novel, is published.  It becomes a best seller and a classic of 
 Appalachian literature.

1966: The Far Family, sequel to The Tall Woman, is published.  Lillian Smith calls Clay Thurston
 "one of the most complex and interesting characters in contemporary fiction."

1973: Return the Innocent Earth, her third and final novel, is published.

1975: Tennessee: A History is published as part of The States and the Nation series to
 commemorate the Bicentennial of the United States.

1979: Tennessee, a coffee table book of text and photographs, is published.

1981: Governor Lamar Alexander appoints her as Tennessee State Historian.

1984: Explorations, a collection of essays, is published.

1993: Tennessee Woman: An Infinite Variety, is published.

1998: Is inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame

2006: Dies in Asheville, North Carolina