Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (August 8, 1896 – December 14, 1953) began writing as a child, but the kind of literary success she craved eluded her for some time. Her best known work remains The Yearling, the story of a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was subsequently made into a successful movie. Despite being criticized for her uneven talent, Rawlings kept writing, driven by her fascination with the land and people of Cross Creek, Florida.

Rawlings worked on newspapers in many cities as a reporter and feature writer. While supporting herself through newspaper work she attempted to write fiction for magazines:

“I tried to write what I thought they [popular magazines] would be most likely to buy and all that brought me was rejection slips. Then in 1928 I had an opportunity to buy an orange grove in Florida and I bought it, left the newspaper and settled down to give all my time to fiction. Still the stories didn’t sell, so I gave up … But then I thought—just one more. An I wrote a story that seemed far from ‘commercial,’ that—it seemed to me—no editor would want to buy but that had meaning for me. It sold like a shot and I’ve had no trouble selling since, though I never have tried to write ‘commercially.’”

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