Billie Letts (30th May 1938 – 2nd August 2014) was an American novelist and professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Born Billie Dean Gipson in Tulsa Oklahoma not much is known of her early life.
In 1958 she married Dennis Letts, professor and actor and the couple went on to have three children. After working for years as a professor, she released her first published novel in 1995. Where the Heart Is was Letts’ debut novel and it was a commercial success, adapted into a 2000 movie starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.
Three years later, Letts published The Honk and Holler Opening Soon, and in 2004 Shoot the Moon was released. Lett’s final novel Made in the USA was published in 2008.
Though her literary career was short, Letts won several literary awards during her lifetime including the Walker Percy Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, and a Best Novel nomination from Oprah’s Book Club.
Letts died in 2014, aged 76 from pneumonia after a short illness, she had recently been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.