An American novelist, filmmaker, and journalist, she is most famous for Baby of the Family. Her fiction focuses on black women living in the American South.
She graduated from Spelman College in the early 1970s. Early in her literary career, she worked for the Atlanta Constitution, a prominent newspaper.
She appeared on a Nick @ Nite television segment segment called "Postcards from Georgia."
She grew up in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood of Macon, Georgia. She later married Jonée Ansa.
She adapted her novel, Baby of the Family, for the screen; Pam Grier was chosen to star in the film.