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Fanny Herself

Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber
By: (1885-1968)

Fanny Herself is the story of Fanny Brandeis, a sensitive, young Jewish girl coming of age in the Midwest at the turn of the 20th century. It is generally considered to have been based on Ferber’s own experiences growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin. Fanny’s inner struggle between her compassionate, artistic side and her desire for financial independence as a successful young businesswoman is the recurring theme of the novel. Ferber’s engaging style of writing will quickly draw you into her story. Regarded by many to be the “greatest American woman novelist of her day,” Edna Ferber would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize in a 1925 for her book So Big, and is also the author of Showboat and Cimarron, which along with other of her later works were successfully adapted for stage and screen.

First Page:

FANNY HERSELF

By Edna Ferber

TO WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE

PREFACE

It has become the fashion among novelists to introduce their hero in knee pants, their heroine in pinafore and pigtails. Time was when we were rushed up to a stalwart young man of twenty four, who was presented as the pivot about whom the plot would revolve. Now we are led, protesting, up to a grubby urchin of five and are invited to watch him through twenty years of intimate minutiae. In extreme cases we have been obliged to witness his evolution from swaddling clothes to dresses, from dresses to shorts (he is so often English), from shorts to Etons.

The thrill we get for our pains is when, at twenty five, he jumps over the traces and marries the young lady we met in her cradle on page two. The process is known as a psychological study. A publisher's note on page five hundred and seventy three assures us that the author is now at work on Volume Two, dealing with the hero's adult life. A third volume will present his pleasing senility. The whole is known as a trilogy. If the chief character is of the other sex we are dragged through her dreamy girlhood, or hoydenish... Continue reading book >>


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