Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (August 8, 1896 – December 14, 1953) was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same name. The book was written long before the concept of young-adult fiction, but is now commonly included in teen-reading lists.
Her first book, South Moon Under, was published in 1933 (the year of her divorce from Charles Rawlings) and was followed by Golden Apples (1935) and The Yearling (1938), which won a Pulitzer Prize. The Yearling, the bittersweet story of a backwater boy who adopts a fawn, was made into a motion picture (1946) and over subsequent years gradually assumed the status of a classic. Many of Rawlings’s stories were collected in When the Whippoorwill (1940). Cross Creek (1942; filmed 1983) describes her life in the Florida country and displays her striking ability to convey in poetic prose her deep feelings of kinship to nature as well as her sharp ear for dialect and the characteristic regional humour. Cross Creek Cookery, her collection of regional recipes, was also published in 1942. The Sojourner (1953), her last book, is set in Michigan. She was at work on a biography of Ellen Glasgow when she died. Secret River, a children’s book, was published posthumously in 1955. Rawlings’s Short Stories was published in 1994, and a collection of her 1926–28 poems from the Rochester Times-Union (Rochester, N.Y.) appeared in 1997 as Poems by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: Songs of a Housewife.
Did You Know?
One of her childhood stories had been published in The Washington Post when she was age 11.