Young Edna Ferber at desk with typewriter
Edna Ferber was born on August 15, 1885 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She grew up mostly in her native Michigan, in Iowa, and in Appleton, Wisconsin. Edna began her working career at age 17 as a reporter for the Appleton Daily Crescent, later working as a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal. Her 1912 move to New York led her into a circle of influential friends such as Katherine Hepburn, Moss Hart and George Kaufman. In 1920 she covered both the Democratic national convention in San Francisco and the Republican national convention in Chicago for the United Press Association.

Edna Ferber, Author and Newspaper Reporter   1885-1968
Edna Ferber having tea and reading a manuscript
Her talents turned to writing books that offered an accurate, lively portrait of middle-class Midwestern experiences in the 1920s and 1930s. Frequently the heroines of these books were women whose strength and talent made them successful in business, like Emma McChesney in Roast Beef or Fanny in Fanny Herself. Ferber believed that working people still retained "a kind of primary American freshness and assertiveness."

Edna Ferber's Showboat starring Ava Gardner
Edna won a Pulitzer Prize in 1924 for her book, So Big, of which there are three film adaptations. She garnered much critical acclaim for Show Boat, later turned into the musical play and movie. Her later novels Giant, Saratoga Trunk, Cimmaron and Ice Palace were all made into motion pictures. World critics hailed Ferber as the greatest woman novelist of the period. She died on April 16, 1968 in New York City. Her published works include twelve novels, twelve collections of short stories, nine plays and two autobiographies. 

"A Closed Mind is a Dying Mind" - Edna Ferber
 


Comments


Comments are closed.