About Me

I have spent the majority of my life in the South. I have considered living elsewhere, but the southern soil refuses to let me go. It has me deeply rooted with the people and memories of my childhood. Sadly much of the world of my childhood has almost drifted away. One of the reasons I write is to preserve what it was like to live in a tobacco community with churches and juke joints, migrant workers and drunks, preachers, teachers, and young people with not enough to do. The whistle of the train was my lullaby and it rocked not only me, but the very foundations of my grandmother's house. We still have only three stoplights in Four Oaks, NC and folks continue to ask you "who your people?"

Being the child of a young, single, mother meant I ended up with more than my share of folks interested in my welfare. I was marked early on as one of those little brown girls who needed special handling. Encouraged to read and write my way out of poverty, I was the first person in my family to attend college and we consider my earning a Ph.D. just this side of a miracle.

I became a teacher because I had such good ones. When I was in Headstart, a teacher's aide gave me a bottle of perfume and told me I could be anything I wanted to be. Of  course my five year-old self lost the perfume on the way home from school, but I never forgot what she said.

Today, I am an English Professor and I hope I pay forward all that my teachers, family, and community did for me. I have a lovely daughter who is a college student and a writer herself. She carries on what is now our family tradition. Carolina Knight is my pen name. I use it to keep my academic work separate. If you're into that, you can find it under the name my mother gave me--Tarshia Stanley.

The Book of Ephesus is my first novel.


Tarshia Stanley is Chair and Associate Professor of English at Spelman College  in Atlanta, GA. She earned the A.B. from Duke University and the the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She teaches courses in Film and Media Studies, Literature and African Diaspora. She has written articles on the presentation of Black women's bodies in media, literature, and film and edited The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature (2008).

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