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Edna Ferber Books In Order

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Publication Order of Emma McChesney Books

Roast Beef Medium (1911)Description / Buy at Amazon
Personality Plus (1914)Description / Buy at Amazon
Emma McChesney and Co. (1915)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Dawn O'Hara: The Girl Who Laughed (1911)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cheerful, by Request (1913)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fanny Herself (1917)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girls (1921)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gigolo (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
So Big (1924)Description / Buy at Amazon
Show Boat (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stage Door (With: George S. Kaufman) (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mother Knows Best (1927)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cimarron (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Beauty (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Come and Get It (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saratoga Trunk (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Son (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Giant (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ice Palace (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Kind of Magic (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Homely Heroine (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dancing Girls (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

$1200 A Year: A Comedy In Three Acts (With: Newman Levy) (1920)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Land Is Bright: A Play (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Buttered Side Down: Short Stories (1912)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Woman Who Tried to Be Good and Other Stories (1913)Description / Buy at Amazon
They Brought Their Women: A Book Of Short Stories (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Basket (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Half Portions (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of American Biography Books

A Peculiar Treasure: Autobiography (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ferber: Edna Ferber and Her Circle (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

30 Eternal Masterpieces of Humorous Stories(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Edna Ferber was a widely popular American playwright, novelist, and short-story writer. She was particularly famous for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel called So Big. Other prominent novels of her career include Show Board, Cimarron, Giant, Ice Palace, etc. Each of them was adapted into popular movies during the 30s, 50s, and 60s. Author Ferber was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on August 15, 1885. Her parents, Jacob Charles Ferber and Julia Ferber were of Hungarian Jewish and German Jewish descent respectively.

Jacob worked as a storekeeper, but faced failures in business very often because of struggling with early blindness. Due to this, Ferber had to move quite often with him. After residing in Chicago for some years, Ferber relocated to Ottumwa, Iowa where she lived for seven years.

During this time, Ferber’s family had to face brutal Anti-Semitism. Adult males used to mock, verbally abuse, and spit on her while she carried lunch for her father every day. People around her often mocked her in their Yiddish accent. When Ferber was 12 years old, her family shifted to Appleton, Wisconsin. There, she graduated high school and joined Lawrence University. Author Ferber had the ambition of studying acting, but she had to abandon all her plans at 17 years of age for supporting her family.

When her situation forbade her to study elocution, she decided to put an end to higher education and eventually dropped out of university. Her earlier attempts at earning a livelihood were at Milwaukee Journal and Appleton Daily Crescent. During the time Ferber was employed as a reporter, she got the chance to cover the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention of 1920. She carried out the reportings of these two historical events for the United Press Association. Later, Ferber suffered from anemia and could not continue to work in the field. So, she had to leave her reporting job to undergo treatment. During her recovery phase, Ferber attempted to write short stories as a means to overcome the boredom of lying in bed all day and have nothing to do. Eventually, she took to novel writing as well and went on to publish her debut novel in 1911.

The first set of short stories penned by her were also published along with her first book. The highlight of Ferber’s writing career in 1924 when she wrote and released So Big to worldwide success. This book won the Pulitzer Prize in the next year and helped her establish herself as a noteworthy writer. When Ferber had come up with the first draft of the book, she felt that it a glorified failure, lacked a plot, and its subtle theme could be overlooked easily. But, when she took the manuscript to her publisher at Doubleday, she received a shocking surprise when she was told that the company has decided to publish it. Following its successful release, the book went on to sell hundreds of thousands of printed copies. After winning the award, the book was adapted into a silent movie in 1925 that featured Colleen Moore in the lead role.

In 1932, a talkie film remake was made that starred George Brent and Barbara Stanwyck in lead roles and supported by Bette Davis. The most popular adaptation of So Big is the 1953 film remake that featured Jane Wyman as the lead character. Ferber followed up with the success of So Big and published Show Boat. It was successfully made into a musical in 1927 by popular music composers Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. Since then, the musical has been revived eight times. After that, various other novels, novellas, short stories, plays, screenplays, and musical adaptations followed in Ferber’s career. The death of author Ferber occurred on April 16, 1968, at her house in New York City. She was suffering from stomach cancer.

Following her death, her estate was divided among her female relatives as per her wish and the US government received the rights to spread Ferber’s literary work to inspire and encourage future female novelists. Ferber had never married and did not have any children. She was not even involved in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship. Ferber was known for being quite vocal about her political leanings and had openly supported Franklin D. Roosevelt for the post of America’s President in the election of 1940.

An excellent book series penned by author Edna Ferber is known as the Emma McChesney series. It features three books released between 1911 and 1915. All three books depict Emma McChesney as the central character. Ferber has described her as a stylish, smart, and a divorced mother. She has worked for different jobs in the last more than a decade, including being a stenographer, sales representative, and business manager, and now works as a business partner at T.A. Buck Featherloom Petticoat Company. Other essential characters that Ferber created for this series include Jock McChesney and T.A. Buck Jr. The settings take place in New York, Chicago, and South America.

The debut book of this exciting novel series is entitled ‘Roast Beef Medium’. It was released in 2007 by the Kessinger publication, after its original release in 1911. This book opens by introducing Emma McChesney as a career-oriented woman. She works as a sales representative at the Featherloom petticoat and skirt-making company owned by T.A. Buck. Her job requires her to travel a lot. She mostly travels by train and sleeps in cheap hotels. Emma likes meeting interesting people and outsmarting her male competitors. As attractive and stylish as she is, Emma doesn’t wish to get involved in any relationship. She wishes to live as a single mother, look after her son, and climb the ladders of success in her profession.

Another wonderful novel of the series is called ‘Emma McChesney and Co.’. It was published by Illinois University Press in 2002, after its initial release in 1915. This book opens by mentioning that Jock McChesney, Emma’s son, moves to Chicago with his newly-married wife. Emma is left alone and she keeps herself busy by going on a sales tour across South America. While at the company, she and T.A. Buck Jr. try to keep their affair hidden from their colleagues. After dating her for several months, Buck gathers the courage to ask Emma’s hand in marriage. While she agrees, she doesn’t let this come in way of her hard work to save the company from financial jeopardy. Emma keeps one hand busy with writing advertising copies and uses the other to look after her personal life. Soon after, she becomes a grandmother and feels she has achieved everything in life that a 20th-century woman dreams about.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Edna Ferber

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