digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber.jpg
circa 1904
Born
Died
Occupation Novelist, playwright
Nationality United States
Genre drama, romance

Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), Cimarron (1929; made into the 1931 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), and Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie).

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ferber was born August 15, 1885, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to a Hungarian-born Jewish storekeeper, Jacob Charles Ferber, and his Milwaukee, Wisconsin-born wife, Julia (Neumann) Ferber. After living in Chicago, Illinois, and Ottumwa, Iowa, at the age of 12 Ferber and her family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school and briefly attended Lawrence University. She took newspaper jobs at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican National Convention and 1920 Democratic National Convention for the United Press Association.

Career[edit]

Ferber's novels generally featured strong female protagonists, along with a rich and diverse collection of supporting characters. She usually highlighted at least one strong secondary character who faced discrimination ethnically or for other reasons; through this technique, Ferber demonstrated her belief that people are people and that the not-so-pretty people have the best character.

Several theatrical and film productions have been based on her works, including Show Boat, Giant, Ice Palace, Saratoga Trunk, Cimarron (which won an Oscar) and the 1960 remake. Three of these works – Show Boat, Saratoga Trunk and Giant – have been developed into musicals.

When composer Jerome Kern proposed turning the very serious Show Boat into a musical, Ferber was shocked, thinking it would be transformed into a typical light entertainment of the 1920s. It was not until Kern explained that he and Oscar Hammerstein II wanted to create a different type of musical that Ferber granted him the rights. Saratoga, based on Saratoga Trunk, was written at a much later date, after serious plots had become acceptable in stage musicals.

In 1925, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book So Big, which was made into a silent film starring Colleen Moore that same year. An early talkie movie remake followed, in 1932, starring Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent, with Bette Davis in a supporting role. A 1953 remake of So Big starred Jane Wyman in the Stanwyck role, and is the version most often seen today.

Ferber was a member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of wits who met for lunch every day at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Ferber and another member of the Round Table, Alexander Woollcott, were long-time enemies, their antipathy lasting until Woollcott's death in 1943, although Howard Teichmann states in his biography of Woollcott that their feud was due to a misunderstanding. According to Teichmann, Ferber once described Woollcott as "a New Jersey Nero who has mistaken his pinafore for a toga."

Ferber collaborated with Round Table member George S. Kaufman on several plays presented on Broadway, most notably The Royal Family (1927), Dinner At Eight (1932) and Stage Door (1936).

Plaque located in Manhattan, at 65th Street & Central Park West, in the building in which Edna Ferber lived for 6 years

Personal life[edit]

Ferber never married, had no children, and is not known to have engaged in a romance or sexual relationship.[1] In her early novel Dawn O'Hara, the title character's aunt is said to have remarked, "Being an old maid was a great deal like death by drowning – a really delightful sensation when you ceased struggling." Ferber did take a maternal interest in the career of her niece Janet Fox, an actress who performed in the original Broadway casts of Ferber's plays Dinner at Eight and Stage Door.

Ferber died at her home in New York City, of stomach cancer,[2] at the age of 82.

Legacy[edit]

Ferber was portrayed by the actress Lili Taylor in the 1994 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.[3]

In 2008, The Library of America selected Ferber's article "Miss Ferber Views 'Vultures' at Trial" for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American True Crime.

On July 29, 2002, in her hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, the U.S. Postal Service issued an 83¢ Distinguished Americans series postage stamp honoring her. Artist Mark Summers, well known for his scratchboard technique, created this portrait for the stamp referencing a black-and-white photograph of Ferber taken in 1927.[4]

Works[edit]

Musicals adapted from Ferber novels:

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Ferber has been rumored to be a lesbian in several undocumented sources. Professor John Unsworth makes an unsupported claim in John Sutherland (2007) Bestsellers: A Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press: 53. Haggerty and Zimmerman imply she was gay because of her visits to Provincetown in the early 20th century (Haggerty and Zimmerman (2000), Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, Taylor and Francis, p. 610). Porter (Porter, Darwin (2004) Katherine the Great, Blood Moon Productions, Ltd, p. 204) comments in passing that Ferber was a lesbian, but offers no support. Burrough (Burrough, Brian (2010) The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, Penguin) also remarks in passing that Ferber was gay, citing the biography written by Julie Goldsmith Gilbert (Ferber's great niece, see bibliography). Gilbert, however, makes no mention of lesbian relationships.
  2. ^ Great American Writers: Twentieth Century
  3. ^ Internet Movie Database entry for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
  4. ^ The Postal Store (2008). "Distinguished Americans Series: Edna Ferber". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
Bibliography
  • Ferber, Edna (1960). A Peculiar Treasure. New York: Doubleday. 
  • Gilbert, Julie Goldsmith (2000). Edna Ferber and Her Circle, A Biography. New York: Hal Leonard Corporation. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edna_Ferber — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1464 videos foundNext > 

The Ten-Year Lunch; Wits & Legends of the Algonquin Round Table (Complete)

The Algonquin Round Table set the standard for literary style and wit beyond its ten-year duration. After World War I, Vanity Fair writers and Algonquin regu...

Edna Ferber - Long Distance

Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 -- April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included ...

Edna Ferber - One Hundred Percent

Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 -- April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included ...

The Homely Heroine by Edna Ferber

LibriVox recording of The Homely Heroine, by Edna Ferber. Read by Phil Chenevert Who ever heard of a plain and downright homely heroine? Isn't a heroine by d...

Edna Ferber Quotes

What was your favorite Edna Ferber quote? 'Like' and leave a comment below, then jump over to http://quotetank.com/quotes-by/edna-ferber and make a list of y...

Book Reflection So Big by Edna Ferber

Sundried by Edna Ferber

Adrienne Reading a monologue as character Mary Louis, a writer.

American Beauty, by Edna Ferber

HOW DO YOU GUYS LIKE MY NEW OPENING SEQUENCE FOR MY BOOK REVIEWS?!! My third book review video. I include two books here. 1) "American Beauty" by Edna Ferber...

One Basket by Edna Ferber

This sparkling collection of 7 short stories by Ferber including some that are considered her all time best like The Woman Who Tried To be Good and The Mater...

Edna Ferber - The Frog And The Puddle

Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 -- April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included ...

1464 videos foundNext > 

40 news items

Herald.ie

Herald.ie
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:32:16 -0700

Especially when Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern's classic (based on the best-selling novel by Edna Ferber) is an otherwise accomplished piece of musical theatre, its important themes of racial prejudice, alcoholism and a family divided combining ...

Inside Philanthropy

Inside Philanthropy
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

... will support the production of Stephen King's "The Shining" by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, as well as "Dinner at Eight" by William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman.
 
MiamiHerald.com
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700

It's where some of the original cattle drives started and where the first American cattle breed was created. It inspired Edna Ferber's novel Giant and the screen version starring James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor — not to mention a line of Ford pickup ...
 
The Ledger
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:52:30 -0700

It inspired Edna Ferber's novel "Giant" and the screen version starring James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor — not to mention a line of Ford pickup trucks. And ever since U.S. Sugar acquired a hunting lease there in 2011, it's where some of Florida's top ...
 
Broadway World
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:53:54 -0700

Last month, the Minnesota Opera announced its commission of Dinner at Eight, a new comic opera by composer William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. Minnesota Opera will give the world ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:30:00 -0700

Based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel of the same name, this debuted in 1927, with music by Jerome Kern, and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring such classic songs as 'Ol' Man River' and 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man', it is set on a ...
 
Bismarck Tribune
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 08:56:15 -0700

The following books are available for citizen review. If you have an interest in the topic and some expertise, contact Tribune Editor Steve Wallick at steve.wallick@bismarcktribune.com. n New: “Final Curtain: A Edna Ferber mystery,” Ed Ifkovic; “Going ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:04:03 -0700

When Kern and Hammerstein took the surprise decision to adapt Edna Ferber's 1926 novel of the same name into a musical, they touted it around to various producers. “All of them sensed the politics in it and said, 'it's not quite right for us ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Edna Ferber

You can talk about Edna Ferber with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!