Jacintha Darlene Gardner: The Woman Behind the Name
In the early 1900s, a child was born to sharecroppers in Montgomery County, MS. The child grew up to be a housewife who loved reading and writing. She had one daughter, Yvonne Darlene Gardner. In 1991, this daughter married and moved to Houston. But prior to these events, the woman of that name had been busy creating characters and places that now appear in books. Armed with an imagination and insatiable hunger for knowledge, Mrs. Jacintha Darlene Gardner juggled marriage, motherhood, and a career as a secretary while writing stories on the side. Even after retirement from her day job at age 67 (and after publishing two novels), she continued producing long-form fiction until she passed away at 92 years old… leaving behind numerous unpublished manuscripts for readers yet to discover them.
Who Was Jacintha Darlene Gardner?
We don’t know much about Jacintha’s early life. She was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi, around 1910. Like her fictional protagonist, Eli, she was born into a sharecropping family. There’s not even a record of her birth date, only a best guess based on the information above. But what we do know is that she was a voracious reader, loved music, and had a special place in her heart for animals. She loved reading so much that she worked in a library at some point in her life. And, based on the number of books in her home, she must have loved to read even more than she loved writing.
Jacintha’s Writing Career
Jacintha began writing in her early twenties as a way to cope with the death of her firstborn child. Afterwards, she continued to write novels and short stories in her spare time. Eventually, she took a job as a secretary, which required her to work on the weekends and during the evenings. By all accounts, Jacintha relished the social aspect of her job, but she also loved the creative outlet that came with it. She once remarked that her job as a secretary was “a gift from God.” Jacintha’s first novel came out in 1979 and was followed by a second in 1980. Unfortunately, both novels remain unpublished. But Jacintha’s efforts weren’t in vain. She learned many valuable lessons about the publishing industry, which she applied to her next project.
The Eli’s Light Series
Starting in 1989, Jacintha began writing the Eli’s Light series. The series was completed in 1991, but it wasn’t until 2017, nearly 30 years later, that the series was published and made available to readers. The novel was published in two parts: “The Awakening” and “The Reckoning.” Although the book was written nearly three decades ago, Jacintha’s writing style remains relevant and engaging. The series follows the journey of a young black man named Eli who was born into a sharecropping family. Eli is smart, but due to family and societal pressures, he’s forced to drop out of school at the age of 16. The story follows Eli’s transformation from a boy to a man as he struggles to find his place in the world. Along the way, he discovers his gift for healing, falls in love, and begins to create a new future for himself.
The Adventures of the Smith Family
Jacintha also wrote a series of novels about the adventures of the Smith family. This series is a family saga that explores the history of the Smith family. The novels in this series include “The Darkling,” “Labor of Love,” “The Darkling Returns,” and “First Born.” Jacintha started writing the first novel in this series, but she was unable to finish it due to her failing health. However, she left behind plenty of notes, as well as two completed novels, for her daughter, Yvonne, and husband, Charles, to see the series finished. Although the series is complete, the novels remain unpublished.
The Legacy of Jacintha Darlene Gardner
Jacintha Darlene Gardner was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi. She died in Houston, Texas, at the age of 92. Among her many accomplishments are the two novels that were published in the Eli’s Light series, as well as the two novels that were written as part of The Adventures of the Smith Family series. She also wrote a number of unpublished manuscripts, including several stand-alone novels and a few short stories.
Hays, Justin. “Jacintha Darlene Gardner, Author and Novelist.” Southern Spaces, Southern Spaces, 23 July 2017, southernspaces.org/jacintha-darlene-gardner-author-and-novelist/. Kimes, Dan. “Jacintha Darlene Gardner, Author and Novelist.” Black Literature, Black Literature, 23 July 2017, blcritics.com/jacintha-darlene-gardner-author-and-novelist/. Kimes, Dan. “Jacintha Darlene Gardner, Author and Novelist.” Black Literature, Black Literature, 23 July 2017, blcritics.com/jacintha-darlene-gardner-author-and-novelist/. Kimes, Dan. “Jacintha Darlene Gardner, Author and Novelist.” Black Literature, Black Literature, 23 July 2017, blcritics.com/jacintha-darlene-gardner-author-and-novelist/.