Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Edna Ferber  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Drama Romance

Audience: Adult;

Born: August 15, 1885 in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Died: April 16, 1968 in New York City

-- Website --
-- Edna Ferber on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Ferber lived in Chicago during her youth and maintained a strong connection to the city.

Biographical and Professional Information

Edna Ferber was one of the most prolific and popular writers of the first half of the twentieth century. She was an American novelist, author and playwright. Several theatrical and film productions have been made based on her books. Her first best-selling novel ''So Big'' won a Pulitzer Prize in 1924. That same year, it was also made into a silent film starring Colleen Moore. The 1932 remake starred Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent, with Bette Davis in a supporting role. Jane Wyman starred in the 1953 remake.''Show Boat'' was turned into a stage musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, first produced on stage in 1927 and filmed in 1929, 1936 and 1951. ''Cimarron'' was filmed in 1931 and 1960. The 1931 film won the Academy Award for Best Picture. ''Saratoga Trunk'' was made into a film in 1945 and into the musical ''Saratoga'' in 1959. ''Giant'' was made into a film in 1956.

Selected Titles At Your Library

So big /
ISBN: 0060956690. OCLC Number:

Perennial Classics,. New York :. 2000, ©1983.

A rollicking panarama of Chicago's high and low life, this stunning novel follows the travails of gambler's daughter Selina Peake DeJong as she struggles to maintain her dignity, her family, and her sanity in the face of monumental challenges.

Show boat /
ISBN: 1604660104. OCLC Number:

Capricorn House,. [New York] :. [2007]

American beauty /
ISBN: 0783881428. OCLC Number:

G.K. Hall,. Thorndike, Me. :. 1997.

Depicts the life of wealthy aristocrats on a large Connecticut estate in 1700, the decline of the estate by 1890 and the possibility of its revival in 1930.

Come and get it :
ISBN: 187948305X. OCLC Number:

Prairie Oak Press,. Madison, Wis. :. ©1991.

Saratoga trunk /
ISBN: 0891903232. OCLC Number:

Amereon House,. Mattituck, N.Y. :. [2007]

Great son /
ISBN: 0449229564. OCLC Number:

Fawcett Publications,. Greenwich, Conn. :. ©1973.

Account of four generations of a fabulous Seattle family.

Giant /
ISBN: 0060956704. OCLC Number:

Doubleday & Co.,. Garden City, N.Y. :. 1952.

Saga of a woman who leaves her home in Virginia to live with her new husband in Texas at the time of the great petroleum discoveries.

Ice palace /
ISBN: 0899682782. OCLC Number:

Buccaneer Books,. Cutchogue, N.Y. :. ©1986.

The story of two men who struggle to conquer the wild land of Alaska and of a courageous woman who must make a choice that will shape the destiny of a new generation.

Cimarron /
ISBN: 0884115488. OCLC Number:

[Aeonian Press],. [New York] :. [1987?]

The novel is set in the Oklahoma of the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It follows the lives of Yancy and Sabra Cravat, beginning with Yancey's tale of his participation in the 1893 land rush. They emigrate from Wichita, Kansas to the fictional town of Osage, Oklahoma with their son, Cim, and (unknowingly) a black boy named Isaiah. The Cravats here print their newspaper, the Oklahoma Wigwam, and build their fortune amongst Indian disputes, outlaws, and the discovery of oil in Oklahoma.


So Big

  • Pulitzer Prize for Novel, 1924

    Other Awards

  • Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990
  • Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2013