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Edna Ferber

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Edna Ferber (August 15 1885-April 16 1968), author

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Edna Ferber was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 15 1885. (Not 1887, as sometimes stated.) She would become a leading female American author who wrote a number of successful books, as well as plays.

At age 12, Ferber and her family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school and briefly attended Lawrence University. She took jobs at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican and Democratic national conventions for the United Press Association.

Her novels generally featured a strong female as the protagonist, although she fleshed out multiple characters in each book. She usually highlighted at least one strong secondary character who faced discrimination ethnically or for other reasons; this enabled her to show that people are people, and that often the non-pretty have the best character.

Due to her imagination in scene, characterization, and plot, several movies have been made based on her works: Show Boat (a musical featuring Paul Robeson's marvelous rendition of "Old Man River"), Giant (starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean), Saratoga Trunk, Cimarron (which won an Oscar).

In 1925, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book So Big.

She was a member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of wits who met for lunch every day at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.

Edna Ferber died on April 16 1968, at her home in New York City. The New York Times said, "she was among the best-read novelists in the nation, and critics of the 1920s and '30s did not hesitate to call her the greatest American woman novelist of her day."

Partial bibliography

External links

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