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Idella Parker : From Reddick to Cross Creek

Idella Parker with Bud and Liz Crisswell *SIGNED*

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0813017068 / ISBN 13: 9780813017068
Published by University Press of Florida, 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Sleuth Books, FABA (Palm Coast, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Book has rust color cloth boards with silver lettering. 1st edition. 213 pages, with photographs. Signed by Idella Parker on the ffep . Beautiful copy!. Bookseller Inventory # 915014

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Idella Parker : From Reddick to Cross Creek

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


"A warmhearted and insightful tribute to the author of Cross Creek and The Yearling, and it’s the story of Parker herself, a tough-minded Floridian devoted to her family. A charming book."--ALA Booklist

Idella Parker’s recollections of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings are as intimate and frank as their ten years together. This long-awaited memoir, by the black woman who was cook, housekeeper, and comfort to the famous author from 1940 to 1950, tells two stories--one of their spirited friendship, the other of race relations in rural Florida in the days before integration.

 By turns kind and generous, moody and depressed, the Pulitzer Prize winning author emerges as a woman of contrasts--someone with "few friends and many visitors . . . who seldom smiled." Idella’s own life is part of this memoir, too, as she describes her courtship and marriage, her family lineage back to Nat Turner, and what it was life to grow up in a segregated society.

From the Inside Flap:

This book is the one Idella Parker's fans begged her to write -- the illustrated story that tells what happened before and after she worked for Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and adds frank new details to her earlier memoir about her years as cook, housekeeper, and confidante to Florida's Pulitzer Prize winner.

In 1940, when a comic misunderstanding brought the plucky young black woman and the strong-minded author of The Yearling together, Idella already had left home several times -- once, at fifteen, to teach in a segregated school, and later to work as a domestic in West Palm Beach. At age 26 she was back in rural Reddick -- fleeing from "a romance gone bad" with a smooth-talking fellow in shiny shoes -- when Mrs. Rawlings' big cream-colored Oldsmobile, with a bird dog in the back seat, pulled into her mother's yard.

During the next decade, while Idella cooked and served, Rawlings entertained some of the country's most famous writers and celebrities (including Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, and Ernest Hemingway) at her homes in Cross Creek and Crescent Beach, Florida, and Van Hornsville, New York. Rawlings also married her beloved second husband, St. Augustine hotel owner Norton Baskin, and increasingly succumbed to the bouts of alcohol and depression that eventually convinced Idella to leave.

Tracing events back, again, to her hometown, Idella comments on the changing times and offers counsel to young people about the values of work, education, and racial understanding. With 126 photographs, this book adds fresh memories to existing information about Rawlings' life and presents an intimate social history of black life in rural central Florida throughout this century.

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