A native of Redding, Connecticut, Diane Daniels Manning moved to Nahant, Massachusetts, a small island outside of Boston, to pursue an academic career. Climbing the tenure ladder, she moved to New Orleans to chair Tulane’s Department of Education. There she inhaled the background of New Orleans and got the inspiration for the novel STAINED GLASS. She also became certified as a child and adult psychoanalyst by the American Psychoanalytic Association. When she had an opportunity to co-found a therapeutic school in Houston, she took it. She continues to be devoted to helping special children and writing her next book under the watchful eye of her standard poodle.
Diane writes fictional stories inspired by actual people or events. An earlier version of her completed novel, STAINED GLASS, won the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize and the Women in Film and Television (WIFT/Houston) Short Script Competition for a scene involving Martin Luther King. A middle grade novel, GOOD ENOUGH, is nearing completion and follows her adult novel, ALMOST PERFECT. Her interest in real people’s lives also produced two collections of oral histories of teachers: HILL COUNTRY TEACHER and BUT WE MADE IT!
A Forthcoming Novel by Diane Daniels Manning
STAINED GLASS is a story of loss and redemption where the past meets the present, unlikely strangers become family, and a fragile love is glimpsed through the stained glass window of a dilapidated shotgun cottage. Set in New Orleans, 1987, the “City that Care Forgot” is famous for Mardi Gras, jazz, and mint juleps; but underneath the glitter lurks a darker world marred by three hundred years of racial injustice reified in shotgun cottages and garçonnières where white men exploited young black women.
Two unlikely friends, an old woman and a boy with special needs, take an aging champion standard poodle to the Westminster Dog Show and heal their troubled families. Seventy-year-old Bess Rutledge has fantasized about winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life, but now she has decided she is too old to follow her dream. She meets Benny, a lonely fourteen-year-old with mild autism and ADHD, who has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. He becomes convinced that winning Westminster with McCreery, Bess’ aging champion standard poodle, will finally make his mother proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy.
“A charming novel about a troubled young dog owner that will appeal to readers of all ages.” – Kirkus Reviews (Click Here)
A Forthcoming Middle Grade Novel by Diane Daniels Manning
Twelve-year-old Sam Trenton has learning difficulties, but he knows he’ll never get a dog unless he convinces his divorced parents he can take care of it. With the help of Malia Durand, a brilliant girl who has trouble reading social cues, and Jessie Sanford, a seventy-year-old breeder of champion standard poodles, he comes up with a plan. He’ll become a junior handler, win the Great Danbury Fair, and impress his parents. Freddy Lopez, a bully with a secret, has a plan of his own. Sam must choose between helping a friend and earning the dog he loves.
“HILL COUNTRY TEACHER vividly reminds us of how far teachers have come from a time when they had no rights and no voice — and how much they have lost through the bureaucratization of education. These teachers have a rich story to tell.”
– Albert Shanker (President, American Federation of Teachers)
“People forget that Texas was settled so much later than the eastern United States … Texas was really the place to pioneer. You know what I missed more than anything else when I first went out there to teach? Iced tea! No ice on the Divide, no electricity, too far out to buy ice. We finally got a kerosene icebox, and that was heaven to have ice and ice cream.” — Helen Hall Moffett (from BUT WE MADE IT!)
“When I came to Kerrville in 1940, they had a garbage man up here. He took out the garbage—a colored fellow. They paid that garbage man $125 a month…and they paid me to run that school down there, paid me $70 a month. It’s still short of taking a tooth out.”
— B.T. Wilson (from BUT WE MADE IT!)