Although currently Ruby Pickens Tartt is remembered mostly as a local legend or by only a small number of academics, in the mid-1940s celebrated folklorist John Lomax heralded her as a “rising celebrity” and a “bright refulgent star” after she broke into a national circle of writers and folklorists by publishing in The Southwest Review and several popular anthologies. Indeed, over the course of many years Tartt opened doors in the world of Alabama’s folk culture that had long remained closed to men such as Lomax.
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