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Helen Hull

Helen Hull

Helen Hull in the 1930s

Helen Hull (1888-1971) was brought up in Michigan, the eldest child of a schools superintendent and a former teacher; early on she and her brother became financially responsible for their family. She went to Lansing High School and Michigan State University and was a schoolteacher; after graduate work she went to Wellesley College to teach creative writing. Here she met Mabel Louise Robinson, with whom she lived for the rest of her life; their home was in New York and, in summer, in North Brooklin, Maine. She joined the Department of English at Columbia in 1916 and taught there for the next forty years, becoming professor. In New York she was a key member of the Heterodoxy Club, a group of outstanding and unorthodox women. She published numerous short stories and the first of her seventeen novels came out in 1922, the last in 1963. Heat Lightning, her sixth, which is set in Michigan, was published in 1932; it was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

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