Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings — author Of The Yearling



The Mount (2 Plunkett St., Lenox, MA 01240)

Musician and writer Ann McCutchan comes to Edith Wharton’s house and gardens to talk about The Life She Wished To Live: A Biography Of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Author Of The Yearling.

McCutchan paints a lively portrait of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and the Florida landscape and people that inspired her.

Rawlings was a tough, passionate, and independent woman who refused the early-20th-century conventions of her upbringing, McCutchan says — but as a woman born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Wisconsin, she seems an unlikely author of a coming-of-age novel about a poor central Florida child and his pet fawn.

Determined to forge a literary career beyond those limitations, she found her voice in the remote hardscrabble life of Cross Creek, Florida. Between hunting alligator and managing an orange grove, Rawlings employed her sensitive eye, sharp ear for dialogue, and philosophical spirit to bring to life an unknown corner of America in vivid, tender detail, a feat that earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1938.

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“Fascinating and lively … A masterly and entertaining biography.” —Sarah Harrison Smith, The Wall Street Journal

“McCutchan is a sensitive observer of Rawling’s work, and of her deeply unconventional life.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Ann McCutchan grew up in Florida and started life as a classical musician. The founding director of the University of Wyoming’s MFA in creative writing program and former creative writing faculty editor of the American Literary Review at the University of North Texas, she now lives in southern Wyoming.