EDNA FERBER

by Unknown

Among those who are striving for a permanent place among short story writers is Edna Ferber, a young woman who makes her stories interesting through her own keen observation of character traits revealed in the everyday life about her. Miss Ferber's work deserves mention among any group of Wisconsin writers quite as much from the promise of what may still come as from that already accomplished. Her ability to see the real in character and the truth in real life is the strong characteristic of her work. She has attempted to follow somewhat closely the language of the everyday life she portrays.

Edna Ferber's short stories, many of which have appeared in various magazines, have been collected into books published under the titles of "Buttered Side Down," "Dawn O'Hara," "Roast Beef Medium," and "Personality Plus." These stories are unified through the two characters portrayed, Dawn O'Hara and Mrs. Emma McChesney. It is probable that much of her own struggle and much of her aspiration for women is portrayed in these two characters. She hopes to show that women may make an undisputed place for themselves in the professional and business life.

The first of these characters is a young Irish woman who has devoted her energies to the mastering of the city newspaper reporter's work. Through the story of Dawn O'Hara's struggles, Edna Ferber has been able to give many interesting comments upon the toil and thrills of this nerve-racking work. At the same time she has been able to paint the struggle of the young writer to produce the first book, to picture German Milwaukee in a most interesting manner, and to make some interesting comments upon mutual helpfulness.

Emma McChesney is an example of the extraordinarily successful business woman. Despite the most discouraging conditions, she works her way from the beginning of a firm's least inviting employment to the complete management of its affairs. All the time she is inspired by the desire to give her son the best education and the best start in life and to assist him to the most manly character possible. The author rewards Emma McChesney with the full realization of her ambitions.

Edna Ferber was born in Appleton, Wisconsin. Her home was a humble one, but was able to provide her with the opportunity for high school education and a very little work in Lawrence College. After graduating from high school, she did work for the Appleton Crescent in the capacity of news collector and reporter. Through this work she began to realize her powers and at the same time she trained herself to that keen observation of character which constitutes one of the greatest pleasures in her work. Appleton's stores, hotels, newspapers, and working life in general became her laboratory in which to study the characteristics, defects, and aspirations of human life as she finds it. As she has achieved greater success in her writing she has widened her sphere of acquaintanceship and of helpfulness. Her present home is Chicago.