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Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of the popular novel "Janice Meredith." After a successful career in advertising, Karon returned to Blowing Rock, N.C., to write books. Her first book and the first of the popular Mitford series, "Home in Mitford," was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Her sixth and most recent Mitford novel is "A Common Life: The Wedding Story" (Viking, 2001).