Ollie Miss is a folk novel of Southern backwoods and rural, poor black life in Alabama's recent past. The novel serves as an important social record of a past society, time, and circumstance that would evolve into an era of social change, namely the civil rights movement. Ollie Miss is also a love story that speaks of personal loneliness and the need for fulfillment in a young black woman, poor and ignorant, and unattached. It is a story of Ollie Miss's personal struggle to "become" a person in her own right, to be independent, and to find some small measure of happiness in life.
George Wylie Henderson (1904-65) was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. After obtaining training as a typesetter and printer at Tuskegee Institute, he moved to New York. He worked as a Linotype operator for one of the daily newspapers and became a literary participant in the Harlem Renaissance. Henderson wrote for the New York Daily News starting in the 1930s, and he published two novels, Ollie Miss (1935) and Jule (1946).