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Interview 2 with Gail E. Haley

Haley, Gail E. (2)
Wright, Christina
Date of Interview: 
Haley, Gail E.; Smith, Charles (Charles William), 1893-; Anansi (Legendary character); Block printing; Caldecott Medal; Children’s literature; Color separation; Folk literature; Illustrations; Linoleum block-printing; Newspapers--Sections, columns, etc.; Publishers and publishing; Storytelling; Wood-engraving--Printing; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Gail Haley, an author and illustrator of children’s literature born in Charlotte, N.C., recalls her early adulthood and discusses her first interactions with the publishing world. In this second of sixteen interviews, Ms. Haley recounts her decision to begin her career as an author and illustrator, and describes several of her early works, including The Wonderful, Magical World of Marguerite (1964), the Round Stories (1966), and, most notably, A Story, A Story (1970), for which she was awarded the 1971 Caldecott Medal for picture book illustration. In particular, Ms. Haley recalls her work on A Story, A Story, including first learning about Anansi while living in St. Thomas and researching African art and dance. As she discusses her books, Ms. Haley describes her work with woodblocks, printing, and color separation, as well as several other artistic techniques. She also mentions the influence of the Caribbean on her color choices at this point in her career. In addition to her professional life, Ms. Haley recounts aspects of her personal life, including the deterioration of her first marriage to Joseph A. Haley, the beginning of her relationship with her second husband, Arnold Arnold, her early experiences as a mother, and her decision to move to England. Other themes in this interview address storytelling across cultures, African traditions and art, Ms. Haley’s opinions on the deterioration of the publishing world during the latter half of the 20th century, and a syndicated column on social issues which she published with her second husband.
Virginia--Charlottesville; New York (State)--New York; United States Virgin Islands--Saint Thomas; circa 1950s - 2006
Interview Setting: 
Charlotte, N.C.
Interviews with Gail E. Haley
Interview Audio: