The Life She Wished To Live Is Perfect Reading Book

Although the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings the Yearling is well known—it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939-its author has not yet received the same attention. As the girlfriend of Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway (with whom she fished) and Thomas Wolfe (with whom she shared the famous publisher Maxwell Perkins), Rawlings took in the raw beauty and wilderness of central North Florida and its residents long before the region cut its orange groves to make way for unbridled business development.

Ann McCutchan offers a captivating, loving and long-awaited portrait of Rawlings and his writings in the life she wanted to live: a biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of the Yearling.

Deep within Rawlings archives, McCutchan recounts the details of Rawlings ‘ life, from her childhood in Washington, D.C., where she won a prize in a writing competition for her story “the Reincarnation of Miss Hetty”; to her academic years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she edited the literary magazine and met Charles Rawlings, who would become her first husband; to her early years as a journalist in Louisville, Kentucky, and Rochester, New York; to her early years as his possible move to Cross Creek, Florida. There she established herself as a writer, creating lasting and memorable portraits of rural Florida and its inhabitants, both human and non-human.

McCutchan carefully examines Rawlings ‘ letters, stories, novels, and memoirs, examining how they reveal Rawlings’s writing spirit, his desire to examine the relationship between men and women, families and individuals, and his ability to evoke a sense of place, especially the paradise of his corner of Florida. Rawlings was also, according to McCutchan, cosmically conscious, which led her to write about the connections between all living things. The life she wanted to live is the biography Rawlings has long deserved.

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