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I Am the Fox: Van Etten, Winifred

Van Etten, Winifred

Published by Little, Brown, and Company (1936)

First Edition

Quantity Available: 1

From: Whitledge Books (Austin, TX, U.S.A.)

Seller Rating: 5-star rating

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About this Item: Little, Brown, and Company, 1936. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. 1st edition, 2nd printing. The text is in very good condition with no marks, dog ears, or tears except on a few pages whose rough fore-edges were not cut properly by the reader. Even so, none of those overly rough cuts damage the printed part. Pages are age-browned, especially the end papers. Very light brown lines on some of the pages throughout the book (not a stain but perhaps an imperfection in the paper when running through the printing press). Slight foxing along upper edge. The orange cloth book cover is in good condition, but the spine is sun-faded. No corner bumping, but spine is bumped, top and bottom. Previous owner¿s bookplate is pasted onto the first free end paper. [From the Cornell College website]: Born in a small town in northwest Iowa, Winifred Mayne (Van Etten) studied English at Cornell College (Mt Vernon, Iowa). She had to work to pay her way, but her English professor welcomed Winifred into his household. While in college she began writing some short pieces. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1925, she returned home for a short while to teach in the local high school before moving on to New York City to gain a master¿s degree at Columbia. In 1928 the English department at Cornell welcomed her back as a full-time professor. Marrying a stone mason Ben Van Etten at the end of the spring semester 1934, she was asked to quit the faculty in order to make way for unmarried women since she would have a working husband. She spent her time off from teaching by writing I AM THE FOX, which won first place and a sizable monetary prize from Atlantic Monthly Press and Little, Brown and Company (leaving GONE WITH THE WIND in second place). Upon publication by the latter, her book became a best-seller. In 1937 she was invited to rejoin the English faculty at Cornell, where she remained until 1968. She died in 1983. Describing her novel and its female protagonist in 1936, Van Etten stated -- a woman seems to make a more interesting character in a modern novel. The modern woman is caught in a struggle between the desire for career and family. The kind of work a first rate career requires¿the concentration, almost consecration that any ambitious man puts into it¿eliminates the child for the woman. Or the child eliminates the career. She feels, either way, maimed, deprived of the full and complete expression of herself. The old-fashioned woman accepted it as a woman¿s lot. The modern woman fights it. One of her later students described her thus -- she was very careful to place her own work in context - New Deal, Great Depression, and the emergence of Art that placed ordinary people in the realm of beauty. She felt that it was time for American Women to have a voice in creating a new social order - particularly since women had done most of the hard work in stabilizing families to survive economically. The Kirkus Review (1936) described I AM A FOX -- A story in a frame -- interludes build the struggle in the mind of a girl as to whether or not she will marry the man she thinks she loves; episodes intertwined build her background and story and reveal the basic reasons for her hesitation. Almost it might be a psychologist's note book fictionalized and dramatized. Seller Inventory # 000100

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