Pittsboro, NC -- Southern writer Doris Betts is being remembered for her fiction and her work as a creative writing professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her son Erskine Betts of Apex said Sunday she died at her Pittsboro home of lung cancer on Saturday. She was 79.
Betts's seventh novel, "Souls Raised from the Dead," won the Southern Book Award in 1995. An only child of millworkers in Statesville in western North Carolina, she learned to read before first grade.
"Gentle Insurrection," her first collection of short stories, was published in 1954, and her first novel, "Tall Houses in Winter," followed in 1957.
Betts collected several teaching awards during her three decades at UNC.
She told her writing students to expect disappointments if they wanted to become writers.