T. S. Stribling Obituary


Author of 'The Store' Dies - Took '33 Fiction Prize

FLORENCE, Ala. July 8 (AP) - T. S. Stribling, who won the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his novel "The Store," died today at a rest home here. He was 84 years old.

The book was the second of a trilogy that Mr. Stribling once described as a "survey, more or less, of the foibles and amusing social kicks of the whole South from Civil War times to present."

His widow survives.

Wrote Stories for $1.50

Thomas Sigismund Stribling started writing in 1900 when he was 19 years old. After working briefly as an office boy on a magazine published in Nashville, he began to write moral adventure stories for Sunday school publications. The usual pay was $1.50 a story and sometimes he wrote six a day. He also contributed to The American Boy and to pulp magazines.

His first novel, "Birthright," was published in 1921. "Teeftallow," his fourth novel, a story of Tennessee hill folk, was published five years later and made him comparatively well known.

Mr. Stribling's Pulitzer Prize novel, which deals with an inland Southern community in the middle of the 19th century was published by the Doubleday, Doran Company in 1932.

His trilogy has been described as depicting "the decline of the old civilization in the South." "The Store" was preceded in the trilogy by "The Forge." The third volume, "Unfinished Cathedral," was published in 1934.

Mr. Stribling, who was born in Clifton, Tenn., on March 4, 1881, made great use of the country life of Tennessee and Alabama as background for his novels.

"Every rustic in the Southern hill country," he once wrote, "believes that if he can get to the nearest village and set up a grocery store, his fortune is made. A groceryman doesn't have to work; he simple sits in his store and waits for customers. He pays nothing for bed and board; he can eat free out of his stock and sleep in the back of his store. Every penny he takes in is pure profit because he buys on a credit. More Southern hill men sell their lean acres, go to town and set up a grocery store than commit any other form of financial suicide."

Among Mr. Stribling's other books were "Clues of the Carribees" and "Strange Moon," 1929; "Backwater," 1930, and "These Bars of Flesh," 1938.