Chapter 8: American Drama
| A Brief Biography |
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1910 "The Homely Heroine" in Everybody's Magazine; 1911 Dawn O'Hara; 1912 Buttered Side Down (short stories); 1913 Roast Beef, Medium; 1914 Personality Plus; 1915 Emma McChesney and Co.; 1917 Fanny Herself; 1918 Cheerful-By Requests' 1919 Half Portions, A Gay Old Dog; 1921 The Girls; 1922 Gigolo; 1924 So Big (Pulitzer Prize winner); 1926 Showboat; 1927 Mother Knows Best (short stories); 1929 Cimarron; 1930 The Royal Family (a play with George Kaufman); 1931 American Beauty; 1933 They Brought Their Women, Dinner at Eight (with Kaufman); 1935 Come and Get It; 1938 Nobody's in Town, Stage Door (with Kaufman); 1939 A Peculiar Treasure (autobiography); 1941 Saratoga Trunk, No Room at the Inn, The Land is Bright (with Kaufman); 1945 Great Son; 1949 One Basket (short stories), Bravo (with Kaufman); 1952 Giant; 1958 Ice Palace; 1963 A Kind of Magic.
Ferber, Edna and George S. Kaufman. "Old man Minick," a short story by Edna Ferber. Minick, a play based on the short story, by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman; also a brief and quite gratuitous explanation by the authors. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, Page & company, 1924. PS3511 .E46 M5
Ferber, Edna. The royal family, a comedy in three acts. by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. NY: S. French; London, S. French, ltd., 1929. PS3521.A727 R6
Ferber, Edna. American beauty. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1931. PS3511.E46 A46
Ferber, Edna. Great son. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, Doran & Company, inc., 1945. PS3511.E46 .G7
Ferber, Edna. Ice Palace. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1958. PS3511.E46 .I2
Ferber, Edna. Nobody's in town. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, Doran & co., inc., 1938. PS3511.E46 N6
Selected Bibliography 1980-Present
Botshon, Lisa, and Meredith Goldsmith. eds. Middlebrow Moderns: Popular American Women Writers of the 1920s. Boston: Northeastern UP, 2003.
Champion, Laurie. ed. American Women Writers, 1900-1945: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000.
Decker, Todd. Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical. NY: Oxford UP, 2013.
Harrison-Kahan, Lori. The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black-Jewish Imaginary. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2011.
Kimbel, Bobby E. ed. American Short-Story Writers, 1910-1945: First Series. Detroit: Gale, 1989.
McGraw, Eliza R. Edna Ferber's America. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2014.
Meade, Marion. Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2005.
Mordden, Ethan. The Guest List: How Manhattan Defined American Sophistication-From the Algonquin Round Table to Truman Capote's Ball. NY: St. Martin's, 2010.
Smyth, J. E. Edna Ferber's Hollywood: American Fictions of Gender, Race, and History. Austin: U of Texas P, 2010.
Walden, Daniel. ed. Twentieth-Century American-Jewish Fiction Writers. Detroit: Gale, 1984.
Wheatley, Christopher J. ed. Twentieth-Century American Dramatists, Fourth Series. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2002.
A Student Project by Abbey Copeland
Edna Ferber was born August 15, 1885 though at times she gave her birth as 1887. Although she was born to Jewish parents, she was non-religious. Ferber grew up in the small towns of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Appleton, Wisconsin where she graduated from Ryan High School.
Her first job was as a newspaper writer for the Appleton Daily Crescent, however her true aspiration was to become an actress rather than a writer. Ferber never became an actress, but would become a well-known novelist and playwright. When she moved from the Appleton Daily Crescent to the Milwaukee Journal, she began to write fiction. She wrote several short stories, but it wasn't until she wrote a story about a young travelling saleswoman named Emma McChesney that she gained widespread success. The American Magazine bought the story and soon magazines everywhere were encouraging her to write more stories about the young Miss McChesney. She also had experience writing plays and her first play was a dramatization of the McChesney stories.
In 1924 her novel, So Big, brought her critical acclaim. She won the Pulitzer Prize for it and sold over 300,000 copies. It became required reading in many high schools and colleges. At this point in her life, she decided to take writing seriously and bought a used typewriter for $17. It was soon after that she met George Kaufman with whom she would write a number of plays including: Old Man Minick, Stage Door, The Royal Family, and Dinner at Eight. "They began their work together by fighting about many aspects of literary technique, but mutual friendS noticed that, after the lady started to look at her collaborator through different eyes... ," (Meredith 209) indeed, Ferber fell in love with Kaufman, but the feelings were not reciprocated.
Many of Ferber's novels were made into playS, the most popular and successful being, Showboat. Other well known books include: Cimarron (1929), Giant (1952), and Ice Palace (1958). She also wrote two autobiographies: A Peculiar Treasure (1939) and A Kind of Magic (1963).
Ferber died of cancer on April 16, 1968 at her home in New York. "In a lengthY obituary, the New York Times said, 'Her books were not profound, but they were vivid and had a sound sociological basis. She was among the best-read novelists in the union, and critics of the 1920s and '30s did not hesitate to call her the greatest American woman novelist of her day." (Appleton 2)
"Appleton Public Library: The Edna Ferber Page." WWW URL: http://www.apl.org/ pages/ferber/edna.biblio.html (2/19/98).
Pollack Gale, Rhoda. George Kaufman. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1988.
Meredith, Scott. George Kaufman and His Friends. Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1974.
Teichmann, Howard. George S. Kaufman: An Intimate Portrait. New York: Atheneum 1972.
MLA Style Citation of this Web Page
Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 8: Edna Ferber." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: http://www.paulreuben.website/pal/chap8/ferber.html (provide page date or date of your login).
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