Not this one…

Dame Edna

…but, this one…

 Edna Ferber commemorative stamp.

I’ve seen the movie Giant, I’ve seen the movie So Big, I’ve seen Showboat, Cimmaron, Dinner At Eight, and Ice Palace, but I never paid attention to Edna Ferber.

What a miss!

After re-watching Giant for the umpty-umpth time the weekend after Elizabeth Taylor died, I thought, “Hey, you like to read, why don’t you read some Edna Ferber?”

So I did.

I bought SoBig and Giant.

And I’m glad I did.

Ferber, an American literary giant, was part of the Algonquin Round Table and helped to shape American Literature in the early part of the 20th Century.

The first book won Ms. Ferber the Pulitizer Prize.  On the surface, it’s about a Dutch High Pararie family and community out side of Chicago, and the cultured young woman who comes to teach their children, falls in love with a big lug of a farmer, and becomes part of their community.  But, really it’s about her and how she reared her son after becoming a widow.  And how she taught him to become the man he was supposed to be in spite of himself.

It’s a great book, a good read, and I highly recommend it.

It has a message, it’s literature, but it isn’t preachy.

Giant, though it didn’t win a Pulitzer, is an even better book.  Texas:  big and bold at it’s best.

I’m glad I saw the movie first, for even though it follows the story closely, Hollywood changed a few facts, cast people who look nothing like the book’s description of them (except Taylor’s part as Leslie Benedict), and made Jett Rink far far more sympathetic than he was in the book.

It was James Dean’s final film, and one of Rock and Elizabeth’s best.  Mercedes McCambridge plays Bick’s sister and was nominated for an Academy award.  She’s mean and hateful, and you love to hate her!

Giant and SoBig are both great reads, and Ferber’s descriptions of places, people, and events bring you to them.  She knew her craft, knew her characters, and new her challenge. 

They are “must reads” as far as I’m concerned.

I’m sure your local libray has them.  If they don’t, it’s not a real library!!

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