Image of Dorothy Scarborough


Lifetime: 1878 - 1935 Passed: ≈ 88 years ago


Writer, Professor, Literary Critic


United States

Dorothy Scarborough

Emily Dorothy Scarborough was an American writer who wrote about Texas, folk culture, cotton farming, ghost stories and women's life in the Southwest. 

Scarborough was born in Mount Carmel, Texas. At the age of four she moved to Sweetwater, Texas for her mother's health, as her mother needed the drier climate. The family soon left Sweetwater in 1887, so that the Scarborough children could get a good education at Baylor College. 

Even though Scarborough's writings are identified with Texas, she studied at University of Chicago and Oxford University and, beginning in 1916, taught literature at Columbia University. 


While receiving her PhD from Columbia, she wrote a dissertation, "The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction". Sylvia Ann Grider writes in a critical introduction that the dissertation "was so widely acclaimed by her professors and colleagues that it was published and it has become a basic reference work". 


Dorothy Scarborough came in contact with many writers in New York, including Edna Ferber and Vachel Lindsay. She taught creative writing classes at Columbia. Among her creative writing students were Eric Walrond and Carson McCullers, who took her first college writing class from Scarborough. 


Her most critically acclaimed book, The Wind (first published anonymously in 1925), was later made into a film of the same name starring Lillian Gish. 

Books by Dorothy Scarborough

 Famous Modern Ghost Stories Cover image

Famous Modern Ghost Stories

Horror Fiction
Gothic Supernatural

An entertaining selection of "modern" ghost stories selected "to include specimens of a few of the distinctive types of modern ghosts, as well as to show the art of individual stories."

The Wind Cover image

The Wind

Murder Life America Classics United States Tragic

The Wind a supernatural novel by Dorothy Scarborough, depicts the loneliness of life in a small Texas town during the 1880s. She originally published it anonymously, anticipating a rough reception in Texas. It was later made into a film called The Wi...

The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction Cover image

The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction

Victorian Symbolism Literature Supernatural Ghost Story Literary Criticism Folk lore Gothic Fiction

Step into a world where the boundaries between reality and the supernatural blur, as Dorothy Scarborough takes you on a captivating journey through the realms of Modern English Fiction. In "The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction," Dorothy Scarbor...