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Edna Ferber

Born: August 15, 1885 in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Died: April 16, 1968 in New York City

Pen Name: None

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

Biography: 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.

  • '''''So Big'''''
  • -- Pulitzer Prize for Novel, 1924
  • '''Other Awards and Honors'''
  • -- Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2013
  • -- Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Romance

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

American beauty /
ISBN: 0783881428 OCLC: 36470326

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.

Cimarron /
ISBN: 0884115488 OCLC: 16573139

[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.

Come and get it :
ISBN: 187948305X OCLC: 24380555

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

Dawn O'Hara; The Girl Who Laughed

Fanner Herself

Giant /
ISBN: 0060956704 OCLC: 284241

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.


Great son /
ISBN: 0449229564 OCLC: 5097136

Fawcett Publications, Greenwich, Conn. : ©1973.

Account of four generations of a fabulous Seattle family.

Ice palace /
ISBN: 0899682782 OCLC: 30883102

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.

Saratoga trunk /
ISBN: 0891903232 OCLC: 175307031

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

Show boat
ISBN: 0345805739 OCLC: 823046030

The story of the lives of performers associated with the Cotton Blossom, a steamboat plying the Mississippi River in the latter half of the 19th century.

So big /
ISBN: 0060956690 OCLC: 47076433

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.

The Girls
ISBN: 1290047162 OCLC: 940467686

Hardpress Publishing, [Place of publication not identified] : 2012.