Mary Q. Steele

Mary Q. Steele

Mary Quintard Govan Steele (May 8, 1922 – July 6, 1992) was a noted American author and naturalist. She wrote over 20 books --- some adult-style, but mostly children's books. One of her books, Journey Outside, was a Newbery Honor Book. Steele sometimes wrote under the name Wilson Gage.

Steele was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Gilbert and Christine Govan. A graduate of the University of Chattanooga and was married to author William O. Steele. Her first book, The Secret of the Indian Mound, was published in 1958. In The Living Year, one of her only adult novels, she wrote, "I did not become a writer, but was born one, waking up in the morning to sort the day into scenes and characters and descriptions." She died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Selected bibliography

  • The Secret of the Indian Mound (1958)
  • Cully Cully and the Bear, written as Wilson Gage, illustrated by James Stevenson (1983)
  • Anna's Summer Songs, poetry illustrated by Lena Anderson (1988)
  • The Living Year


  • Mary Govan Steele dies; noted author, naturalist. The Chattanooga Times, July 6, 1992.

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