"To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth" (opening lines) The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's epic story of a Dust Bowl migrant family, celebrated its 80th anniversary this year. The novel was originally born out of a … Continue reading The Grapes of Wrath: An Epic Dust Bowl Tragedy
I am thoroughly enjoying reading through the Pulitzer-Prize winners. Years of Grace is a delightful novel. It is a surprisingly whimsical and light read for a 600-page book, yet it is sorely lacking in substance. Margaret Ayer Barnes spends a great deal of time describing the world of little Jane Ward; the books she reads, … Continue reading Thoughts on Years of Grace
So Big by Edna Ferber is going to take some time for me to mull over. It was an enjoyable novel, albeit scattered. It was published in 1924, and won the Pulitzer in 1925. It is a novel that strives to find beauty in the ordinary. It rejects modern materialism while seeking to expose the new … Continue reading The Pursuit of Beauty in Edna Ferber’s So Big
I finally finished the next Pulitzer Prize winning novel after dragging my feet for much of the summer. It is altogether difficult to go from reading the beautiful rolling novels of the great American pioneer writer, Willa Cather, to the bland landscapes of Margaret Wilson's Pulitzer-Prize winning book, The Able McLaughlins. Wilson's novel is a story … Continue reading The Unremarkable Able McLaughlins
I recently detoured from reading the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels to venture into the harsh but pleasantly forgiving fields of Willa Cather's pioneers on the prairie. "Wasatch Mountains and Great Plains in distance, Nebraska" by Albert Bierstadt in 1877 When Willa Cather was thirty-nine years old she wrote her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, which was published … Continue reading The Harsh But Forgiving Prairie in O Pioneers!
One of Ours is a surprisingly deep and powerful novel. In truth, it is two stories told in five parts: Book I "On Lovely Creek", Book II "Enid", Book III "Sunrise on the Prairie", Book IV "The Voyage of the Anchises", Book V "Bidding the Eagles of the West Fly On". The title of Book … Continue reading The Pioneer Spirit in One of Ours