Barbara Moss Robinette

Extended interview with Barbara Moss Robinette

Barbara Robinette Moss grew up dirt poor in the red clay hills of Alabama. She is the fourth of eight children born to a charismatic and alcoholic father and an artistic mother.


In Fierce, Moss (a “powerful writer” - - Chicago Tribune) paints a vivid, moving portrait of her persistent quest to reinvent her life and rebel against the indigence, addiction, and broken-down dreams she inherited from her parents. Moss tells the poignant story of finally leaving everything she knew in Alabama to fulfill her ambition to become an artist. It is an odyssey filled with gritty improvisation (taking her son Jason to her night job to sleep on the floor), bittersweet pragmatism (on a date, filling her purse with shrimp, rolls, and even a doily, to take home to a waiting eight-year-old), and staunch conviction and pride (chasing a mail carrier down the street to defend her use of food stamps).

WBHM’s Tanya Ott spoke with Moss about her writing, her art, and her quest to reinvent herself.

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