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Brilliant, evocative, poetic, savage, this Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel (1934) depicts a white, middle-class urban family that is turned into dirt-poor farmers by the Depression and the great drought of the thirties. The novel moves through a single year and, at the same time, a decade of years, from the spring arrival of the family at their mortgaged farm to the winter 10 years later, when the ravages of drought, fire, and personal anguish have led to the deaths of two of the five. Like Ethan Frome, the relatively brief, intense story evokes the torment possible among people isolated and driven by strong feelings of love and hate that, unexpressed, lead inevitably to doom. Reviewers in the thirties praised the novel, calling its prose "profoundly moving music," expressing incredulity "that this mature style and this mature point of view are those of a young women in her twenties," comparing the book to "the luminous work of Willa Cather," and, with prescience, suggesting that it "has that rare quality of timelessness which is the mark of first-rate fiction."
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JOSEPHINE W. JOHNSON, (1910 - 1990), was the author of 11 books of fiction, poetry, and essays. NANCY HOFFMAN is associate provost of Brown University.Review:
Very beautiful prose, simple yet bright with imagery and so distinctive that one could mistake no single paragraph for the work of any other writer. Johnson belongs in the tradition of Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW It is a book that sings NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE Perhaps it is her obvious radical sympathies that have kept Johnson's novel of dustbowl and depression from being a key text of 20th-century American literature, or perhaps it is that after this Pulitzer Prize-winning debut, Johnson struggled to meet expectations and failed. When working on the novel, she was aware of 'the great flood of books already published', but was confident that her story of how the Wall Street Crash and drought affect one family needed to be told. Her young narrator picks the turning points in her family's misfortunes without over-labouring her portents. The dynamics between parents and daughters and the squabble between siblings are as carefully laid out as the ill omens, such as the shooting of a family dog. Johnson evokes the charms of a character poised on the brink of the adult world yet still bounded by childish concerns, and anchors her story firmly in a landscape that is equal to any of her characters GUARDIAN UNLIMITED There is a kinship between Katherine Mansfield and Josephine Johnson ELIZABETH HART
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Book Description Feminist Press at The City University of New York 1991-01-01, 1991. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Unused. No jacket. A tiny knock and tear on top corners of cover otherwise fine. Book. Seller Inventory # 040380-7