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Ninety-nine year old Miss Fannie has lots of hats, and she loves them all. But her favorite is the pink straw hat with the silk roses. That's the one Miss Fannie has worn on Easter Sunday for the past thirty-five years. When Miss Fannie's preacher asks her to donate one of her precious hats to the church auction, choosing which one to part with is no small task. This heartwarming story about the rewards of unselfish love will enchant readers young and old. The star of Miss Fannie's Hat is based on Jan Karon's own grandmother. "My grandmother, Miss Fannie, was so wonderful I wanted to share her with everyone," says Jan Karon. "I wrote Miss Fannie's Hat to give both children and adults a sense of family, to give them the grandmother or great-grandmother they never had, or always wished they had. Briefly, the story is about sacrifice--and the rewards that can come when we give with a willing heart."
Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.
Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."
Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."
Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."