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Fanny Herself (Dodo Press) by Edna Ferber

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October 2011 Guest Editor Philippa Gregory on Edna Ferber...

I had a gap in my reading this summer and asked my friend, a Profesor of Literature to suggest something I had never read. I specified that it had to have lovely clothes in it (I was feeling frivolous). She suggested Edna Ferber and so I discovered this great American writer whose work had, until now, entirely passed me by. Marooned in English literature I simply had not heard of her, and discovered to my shame that she is the author of Show Boat a play that I love. The book is perhaps slightly dated, but it engaged me thoroughly as it tells the story of a young woman whose life and prospects are sacrificed to the investment in her brother’s career as a musician. Only the death of her mother sets her free to make her way in the growing business of catalogue retail. The book is fascinating about business and about the rise of independent women. And there are lovely clothes.


Fanny Herself (Dodo Press) by Edna Ferber

Early twentieth-century novel by Edna Ferber, the American, novelist, author and playwright whose 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; through this technique, Ferber demonstrated her belief that people are people and that the non-so-pretty persons have the best character.

About the Author

Edna Ferber was an American novelist and playwright. She was the author of Showboat which was turned into the famous musical and also Giant which was made into a film starring James Dean. She died in April 1968.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Edna Ferber

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