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Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896–1953)

Author of The Yearling

37+ Works 6,533 Members 114 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Photo by Carl Van Vechten, Jan. 18, 1953 (Library of Congress, Carl Van Vechten Collection, Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-106862)

Works by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Yearling (1938) 4,786 copies
Cross Creek (1942) 771 copies
The Sojourner (1951) 246 copies
The Secret River (1955) 243 copies
Cross Creek Cookery (1942) 169 copies
South Moon Under (1933) 86 copies
When the Whippoorwill (1940) 42 copies
Golden Apples (1935) 39 copies
Blood of My Blood (2002) 25 copies

Associated Works

The Norton Book of Women's Lives (1993) — Contributor — 408 copies
A Subtreasury of American Humor (1941) — Contributor — 277 copies
Stories to Remember {complete} (1956) — Contributor — 181 copies
Twenty Grand Short Stories (1967) — Contributor — 160 copies
Stories to Remember, Volume II (1956) — Contributor — 126 copies
The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories (1991) — Contributor — 121 copies
The Best American Humorous Short Stories (1945) — Contributor — 85 copies
55 Short Stories from The New Yorker, 1940 to 1950 (1949) — Contributor — 60 copies
The Yearling [1946 film] (1946) — Original book — 43 copies
Stories for Men (1938) — Contributor — 34 copies
Pulitzer Prize Reader (1961) — Contributor — 27 copies
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1966 v01 (1966) — Author — 25 copies
The Other Woman: Stories of Two Women and a Man (1993) — Contributor — 18 copies
Favorite Animal Stories (1987) — Contributor — 13 copies
Los Premios Pulitzer de novela (I) (1970) — Contributor — 8 copies
All Sails Set (1948) — Contributor — 8 copies
Time to Be Young: Great Stories of the Growing Years (1945) — Contributor — 7 copies
The Story Survey (1953) — Contributor — 6 copies
Heart Shots: Women Write About Hunting (2003) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Yearling [1994 TV movie] (1994) — Original book — 4 copies
American Short Stories (1978) — Contributor — 3 copies
Americans All: Stories of American Life To-Day (1971) — Contributor — 3 copies
Husbands and Lovers (1949) — Contributor — 2 copies
Eyes of Boyhood (1953) — Contributor — 2 copies
The Avon Annual 1945: 18 Great Modern Stories (1945) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

20th century (65) American (67) American literature (113) animals (130) anthology (174) autobiography (38) biography (91) children (43) children's (72) children's fiction (31) children's literature (56) classic (160) classics (144) coming of age (52) deer (78) fiction (776) first edition (40) Florida (319) hardcover (45) historical fiction (51) humor (107) juvenile (32) literature (139) memoir (93) nature (91) non-fiction (98) novel (88) poetry (60) Pulitzer (54) Pulitzer Prize (92) Rawlings (31) read (39) short stories (168) southern (33) to-read (188) unread (32) women (76) women's studies (34) YA (47) young adult (68)

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Reviews

I have mixed feelings about this reprint. My family has enjoyed the 1955 version until the pages became tattered and we were forced to get a new copy.

1) Text: It's missing a lot of text!!! I suppose since Rawlings didn't publish it in her lifetime any editor would feel justified in saying the edits were necessary. Now the story is missing some of the interactions of the wildlife, which might be fine for city folk, but not for people who are actually observant (and reliant on such observations) of the natural world. I guess the publisher wanted to limit the number of pages, but it could have been done better by having less white space on the pages.

2) Illustrations: The colorful illustrations with a wide variety of patterns is engaging. I love the way tree bark looks like faces, and how Calpurnia's head is filled with the birds bees or flowers she is imagining. Calpurnia is more obviously a person of color. But. The original illustrations (monochromatic) more accurately portrayed an impoverished community. New version: Calpurnia is wearing shoes (except for when she is stepping in the river)!?! That looks so fake. Anyone who enjoys wandering the woods would also love being barefoot. Did the artist have problems drawing toes? And the scene in the fish market of shoppers "who haven't had anything to eat for weeks" shows an assortment that might be found in a large city store, complete with hats and high heels. I do love the interpretation of Mother Albirtha as an herbalist/palm reader.
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juniperSun | 16 other reviews | May 7, 2024 |
$6.50. Time-Life Edition. Near Fine. Originally published in 1942, Cross Creek has become a classic in modern American literature. For the millions of readers raised on The Yearling, here is the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's experiences in the remote Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. From the daily labors of managing a seventy-two-acre orange grove to bouts with runaway pigs and a succession of unruly farmhands, Rawlings describes her life at the Creek with...Mor… (more)
 
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susangeib | 14 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
Cross Creek is one of the finest memoirs ever written, filled with grace and beauty from one of America's greatest writers, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Perhaps no other writer has so perfectly and honestly captured a place and time like Rawlings did in Cross Creek. It will transport you to that small acreage of backwoods Florida and cause you to wish for a life such as this.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings purchased a seventy-two acre orange grove in this remote area and fled her aristocratic life in the city to perfect her craft and get published. It is here that all her beloved books would be written, including this memoir covering the years of hardships and beauty at Cross Creek. Rawlings was in many ways reborn in Cross Creek, and she would leave behind literary achievements such as "South Moon Under," "Golden Apples," "When the Whippoorwill," "Cross Creek Cookery," and of course, her Pulitzer winning, "The Yearling."

Her close relationships with her neighbors at the creek, both black and white, are told with humor and humanity. Their lives were often filled with hardships but serenity as well, for all of them had chosen to live this kind of life rather than conform to society. Especially poignant are Rawlings's observations of a young destitute couple who would later be portrayed so movingly in Jacob's Ladder.

Rawlings's recollections of her friendships with Moe and his daughter Mary, who was Moe's reason for living, and the only one in his family who cared whether he came or went, are told with such beauty we feel pain ourselves when he takes his last breath at the creek. Rawlings's deep friendships over the years with Tom and Old Martha are told with humor, honesty and a gift for description few have ever captured on paper.

Tinged with sadness is Marjorie's relationship both as employer and friend to 'Geechee. Rawlings would attempt to help her, but to no avail, as this sweet personality slowly became an unemployable alcoholic. Her mistreatment at the hands of a womanizer unworthy of her love was at the heart of her problem. It is perhaps also at the bottom of some bitter comments from Rawlings.

But Cross Creek is about the earth and our relationship to it. Rawlings came to believe over time that when we lose our connection to the earth, we lose a part of ourselves. The great and wondrous beauty of nature, from magnolia blossoms and rare herbs to Hayden mangos and papaya, are as much a part of this memoir as the people. Particularly hilarious are this gifted writer's descriptions of a pet racoon of such mischievous nature and cantankerous disposition that it almost seems human.

Rawlings's world at the creek is perhaps her legacy, a gift given to the reader we can never forget. In order to enjoy this memoir, however, one must take into consideration a number of factors. Published in 1942 and covering many years prior in a backwoods area of Florida, this was a time when racial equality was a distant dream. Some may be offended by Rawlings's casual - though never mean spirited - observations.

Rawlings honestly relates actual conversations from this time and place between blacks and whites, and blacks to other blacks. While Rawlings herself treated everyone fairly, a long string of farmhands prone to drink and violence - including the man who would destroy her friend and employee 'Geechee - prompted Rawlings to lump an entire race into one group, her friends at the creek being rare exceptions. I do not feel this caveat should keep anyone from reading this most beautiful and heartwarming of memoirs, as this is an unflinchingly honest look at a time and a place, as well as attitudes - warts and all.

Rawlings's graceful prose, whether describing a chorus of frogs singing at night as a Brahms waltz, the scent of hibiscus drifting through the air at dusk or myriad of dishes meticulously prepared and labored over for hours, is delightful and unforgettable. Cross Creek will make you hungry for succulent fruits, cornbread and hot biscuits with wild plum jelly, and the living of life itself.

Reading this lovingly written memoir will leave you with a wistful desire to walk away from society as Rawlings did, and live the life we crave in our very being, even if that life can only be lived in our hearts.

"Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time."
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(1896-1953)
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Matt_Ransom | 14 other reviews | Oct 6, 2023 |

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Works
37
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Rating
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ISBNs
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