Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber’s stunning first autobiography, in which she recounts her small-town Midwestern childhood and rise to literary fame, all amidst the backdrop of America around the turn of the 20th century.
A modest girl growing up one of the only Jewish children in her Midwestern town, Edna Ferber started overcoming the odds at a young age. Pursuing work at the local newspaper as an innocent 17-year-old, she was assigned the night court shift, reporting on drugs and violence, and gradually finding her own voice in standing up to what she witnessed. As she continued to pursue writing, she recalls the various ways in which she found inspiration, leading her to publish her first books and later, So Big, which won a Pulitzer Prize and catapulted her to fame. Ferber’s incredible experiences all occur during a time of pre-WWII rising anti-Semitism and the gaining power of Hitler in Europe, and the various historical and political tensions of the time color the fascinating events of her life.
Edna Ferber was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her bestselling novels were especially popular and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big, Show Boat, Giant, and Cimarron, which was made into the 1931 film that won the Academy… More about Edna Ferber
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“Honest, American, full of the Ferber fire and gusto.” —Chicago News
“With a gay and buoyant spirit that does not mask an earnest attitude toward life and work Edna Ferber places her life in our hands in A Peculiar Treasure . . . tells us how she has enjoyed living and writing with a gusto rarely found in autobiographies—reveals, in fact, how thoroughly her life and work are one.” —New York Herald-Tribune
“Edna Ferber has that gift of putting America on paper, in her stories and in her autobiography. You love Appleton and Emporia with her as you read; you feel with her that ‘the ultimate in exciting luxury’ is to lie back in a streamlined train watching the United States of America flow by you.” —New York Herald-Tribune
“What Edna Ferber leaves with her readers here is something subtler and more persuasive than argument: the far stronger thing which is simple memory; not hers alone, but theirs as well. . . . Pilgrim, Huguenot, Catholic, Quaker, Jews—here are our memories; here is the spirit of a nation; here is out peculiar treasure of democracy and freedom to be guarded by us all.” —New York Times Book Review
“He who reads Miss Ferber’s autobiography touches a whole nation.” —Boston Transcript
“It is a gorgeous book. . . . Miss Ferber had written a folk talk of the America of her generation. Her story is as American as Benjamin Franklin or Mark Twain.” —William Allen White
“A Peculiar Treasure is more than an individual’s document; it is an American document because it reveals a way of life all of us revel in, and pleads bravely for its continuance in the future.” —Boston Herald-Traveller
“More than the autobiography of a writer . . . it is a vivid picture of our own America told with gusto and candor, and occasionally with brilliance.” —St. Louis Globe-Democrat
“Readable and full of human interest as it is, its spirit of sympathy and understanding is its greatest asset.” —Detroit News
“Just those qualities which would go into the making of an arresting story would seem to have been used here for an autobiography which is both convincing and refreshing. . . . Like Miss Ferber’s stories and novels, this autobiography is enriched by an awareness of her time as well as of the drama and humor and pathos of the individuals who compose it.” —New York Herald-Tribune Books