Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Complete list of book reviews by author

The looooooong list of reviews extending all down the left side of the blog was getting just a bit unmanageable, so I've moved the list here, in its very own separate post. Below, organized by author, are all of the proper reviews (and a few improper ones) that I've published on this blog. Click on an author's name to see all the reviews for that author.

And in the process of shifting the list here, I discovered that five or six authors were missing. I had reviewed them but never added links to the reviews. Oops. So, I have rectified that now and this list is truly complete.

P. B. Abercrombie

Ruth Adam

Friday, January 4, 2013

American Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (C)

NOTE: This list is a work in progress. Other sections will be added and linked to as they are completed. Please feel free to suggest other authors who are not yet included by commenting below or by emailing me. 


A
B
C




CALISHER, HORTENSE (20 Dec 1911 – 13 Jan 2009)
(married names Heffelfinger and Harnack, aka Jack Fenno)
1940s – 2000s
Author of 16 novels and several story collections and novellas, often focused on Jewish life in New York City. Her earliest short stories appeared in The New Yorker in the 1940s, with her first collection, In the Absence of Angels, published in 1951. She won four O. Henry awards for her short fiction. Among her most famous novels are The New Yorkers (1969), an epic of a wealthy, intellectual Jewish family, In the Palace of the Movie King (1993), about a filmmaker in exile in the U.S., and Sunday Jews (2002), about an eccentric mixed-religion family facing the decline of their father. Others include False Entry (1961), Queenie (1971), Eagle Eye (1973), The Bobby-Soxer (1986), and Age (1987). Under her pseudonym, Calisher published a single novel, The Small Bang (1992). Her memoirs include Herself: An Autobiographical Work (1972) and Kissing Cousins (1988)

CALL, HUGHIE (20 Apr 1890 – 3 Sept 1969)
(née Florence, earlier married name Dickinson)
1950s – 1960s
Author of four children's titles and one memoir. Golden Fleece (1942) is her autobiography of three decades as the wife of a sheep rancher in Montana. Her four children's titles—Rising Arrow (1950), Peter's Moose (1955), The Little Kingdom (1964), and The Shorn Lamb (1969), also deal with rural Western life and settings.

CAMERON, MARGARET (21 Dec 1867 – 4 Feb 1947)
(married name Kilvert)
1900s – 1920s
Playwright, children's author, and novelist. She published numerous one-act plays and monologues before graduating to two short stories published in individual volumes—The Bachelor and the Baby (1908) and The Cat and the Canary (1908). She seems to have published five novels—The Involuntary Chaperon (1909), The Pretender Person (1911), The Golden Rule Dollivers (1913), Johndover… (1924), and A Sporting Chance (1926)—as well as a story collection, Tangles: Tales of Some Droll Predicaments (1912). The Seven Purposes: An Experience in Psychic Phenomena (1918) is non-fiction about her own experiences of the paranormal, and was reprinted in 2004. She also published several non-fiction titles for children, mostly on nature themes.

CAMPBELL, ALICE [DOROTHY] (29 Nov 1887 – 27 Nov 1955)
(née Ormond)
1910s – 1950s
Author of 20 volumes of crime fiction and apparently a single earlier romantic novel, The Rugmaker's Daughter (1916). She was born in the U.S. but moved to Paris in 1910 and then, with her husband, to England where she remained for the rest of her life. Crime novels include Juggernaut (1928), Spiderweb (1930, aka Murder in Paris), Desire to Kill (1934), Keep Away from Water (1935), A Door Closed Softly (1939), No Murder of Mine (1941), Ringed with Fire (1943), set during the Blitz, The Cockroach Sings (1946), and The Corpse Had Red Hair (1950). Several sources mention that she used the pseudonym Martin Ingram, but I haven't been able to locate any titles published under that name. Perhaps only periodical fiction?

CAMPBELL, HARRIETTE (HARRIET) R[USSELL]. (14 Feb 1879 – 27 Jul 1950)
(née Russell)
1910s – 1940s
Novelist, mystery writer, and children's author. Her first published work was a novel, Is It Enough?: A Romance of Musical Life (1913). After World War I, she published several children's titles, including The Little Great Lady (1925), Patsy's Brother (1926), listed in Sims & Clare, The Mystery of Saint's Island (1927), The New Curiosity Shop (1929), Red Coats and Blue: A Story of a British Girl in the American Revolution (1930), and The Piper's Lad (1931), as well as 1934's A Royal Cinderella, a retelling for children of Margaret IRWIN's novel Royal Flush. Thereafter she turned to writing mysteries, publishing eight of them in all, which have been reprinted in e-book and print-on-demand paperback in recent years. Those titles are The String Glove Mystery (1936), The Porcelain Fish Mystery (1937), The Moor Fires Mystery (1938), Three Names for Murder (1940), Murder Set to Music (1941), Magic Makes Murder (1943), Crime in Crystal (1946, reviewed here), and Three Lost Ladies (1949). Some sources have her born c1883, but she appears on the 1880 U.S. census, so I believe the 1879 date given in some Ancestry family trees is correct.

CAMPBELL, LILY BESS (20 Jun 1883 – 15 Feb 1967)
1920s
Longtime UCLA professor and scholar of Renaissance and Shakespeare studies and author of a single novel, about which details are sparse. These Are My Jewels (1929) is described in one source as a satirical novel, and a bookseller says it's about "a mother of the 1890s who ruins her children." Her scholarly works include Scenes and Machines on the English Stage during the Renaissance (1923), Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes, Slaves of Passion (1930), and Shakespeare's "Histories": Mirrors of Elizabethan Policy (1947).

CANNON, CORNELIA JAMES (17 Nov 1876 – 7 Dec 1969)
(née James)
1920s – 1930s
Journalist, progressive activist, and author of six works of fiction, some or all aimed at older children. Four of her books—The Pueblo Boy (1926), The Pueblo Girl (1929), Lazaro in the Pueblos (1931), and The Fight for the Pueblo (1934)—deal with the Spanish conquest of the southwestern U.S. Cannon was influenced to some extent by Willa CATHER, particularly in Red Rust (1928), about a pioneer community of Swedish immigrants in Minnesota, in which she took pains to show both the idyllic beauty of the landscapes and the harshness of pioneer life. That novels was also influenced by Cannon's own childhood in Minnesota. Heirs (1930) is described by American National Biography as "a contribution to the nativism debate, depicted the confrontation between old and sophisticated but exhausted New Englanders and a vigorous pioneer race of Poles in a New Hampshire town." Cannon was an active proponent of birth control, and an unpublished final novel, Denial, deals with the tragedy of women under current birth control laws. According to her ANB entry, many of her writings remain unpublished, including narratives of her many travels and another, very early, unpublished novel, The Clan Betrays. Cannon's husband worked at the Harvard Medical School, so she lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for most of her later life.

CAREY, ERNESTINE GILBRETH (5 Apr 1908 – 4 Nov 2006)
(née Gilbreth)
1940s – 1950s
Co-author, with her brother Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., of the massively successful humorous memoir Cheaper by the Dozen (1949) and its sequel Belles on Their Toes (1950), both based on their unusual childhoods with ten other siblings, an engineer mother, and a motion study expert father, who was always using the children to test his theories of the most efficient ways to complete day-to-day tasks. Both books were Book-of-the-Month Club selections, and both were made into films, in 1950 and 1952 respectively. Carey went on to publish three additional books on her own—Jumping Jupiter (1952), Rings around Us (1956), and Giddy Moment (1958). According to Contemporary Authors, "Jumping Jupiter, for instance, charts the follies of life behind the scenes in a large department store. Rings around Us describes Mrs. Carey's domestic life as a wife and mother of two, and Giddy Moment is a farce about an especially alluring kind of magical lipstick."

CARLETON, MARJORIE (22 Apr 1897 – 4 Jun 1964)
(née Chalmers)
1920s – 1960s
Playwright and author of nine novels. Best known for her later suspense novels, which garnered critical praise, including Cry Wolf (1945, aka The Demarest Inheritance), The Swan Sang Once (1947), The Bride Regrets (1950), Vanished (1955), The Night of the Good Children (1957, aka One Night of Terror), and Dread the Sunset (1962, aka Shadows on the Hill). Her earlier novels may have been lighter in tone. I've found no details of her debut, Their Dusty Hands (1924), but according to Saturday Review, her second, The Swinging Goddess (1926), is about a trapeze artist trying to achieve respectability: "It is all very simple, lively, and not the least bit real, but spiritedly written and generously supplied with conventional theatricals." Lorinda (1939) appears to be a romantic novel set on the Titanic, though details are sparse.

CARLSON, [MARY] NATALIE SAVAGE (3 Oct 1906 – 23 Sept 1997)
(née Savage)
1950s – 1980s
Author of nearly 40 children's books, some of which appear to be picture books for young children. A few, however, seem to be for older readers, including the Newbery Honor book The Family Under the Bridge (1957, aka Under the Bridge), set in Paris among the poor and homeless. Others include Wings against the Wind (1955), Carnival in Paris (1962), Luigi of the Streets (1967, aka The Family on the Waterfront), Marchers for the Dream (1969), and Luvvy and the Girls (1971).

CARNEAL, GEORGETTE (18 Mar 1903 – 15 Jun 1999)
(married names Weitzenkorn, Genet/Rosenwasser, Corey, & Scott)
1930s
Journalist, biographer, and author of a single novel, The Great Day (1932), which, according to its jacket blurb, is a "brew of modern life. Those who lived the half life in this story operated behind the scenes of a sensational newspaper. Steve, the managing editor, kept telling himself: I'm young. I can squeeze this dirty thing dry and make my getaway. So did the bigger executives and the smaller stenographers; so did the ones on the outside, the kept women, the little love girls. In the dim half life, they made their money, they made their killings, but when they tried to find their way back, there was no place to go." She also wrote one biography, Conqueror of Space: An Authorized Biography of the Life and Work of Lee DeForest (1930). Carneal's personal life must have been a tangle, as we seem to have found records of four different marriages, one to early film director Ira Genet (real name Rosenwasser).

CARPENTER, FRANCES (30 Apr 1890 – 2 Nov 1972)
(married name Huntington)
1930s – 1970s
Author of numerous non-fiction works for children about geography and life in other countries. Her place on this list, however, stems from her volumes of folk tales from various cultures, such as her "tales" series, including Tales of a Basque Grandmother (1930), Tales of a Russian Grandmother (1933), Tales of a Chinese Grandmother (1937), Tales of a Swiss Grandmother (1940), and Tales of a Korean Grandmother (1947). She also published an "Our Little Friends" series and a "Wonder Tales" series, as well as a late collection of Japanese folk tales, People from the Sky: Ainu Tales from Northern Japan (1972)

CARPENTER, MARGARET (3 Apr 1893 – 30 Mar 1987)
(married name Richardson)
1940s
Author of a single novel, a successful thriller called Experiment Perilous (1943), made into a film starring Hedy Lamarr in 1944.

CARROLL, GLADYS HASTY (26 Jun 1904 – 1 Apr 1999)
(née Hasty)
1920s – 1970s
Author of more than two dozen books including children's fiction, novels, and memoirs, much of it focused around life in rural Maine. She began her career with two children's titles, Cockatoo (1929) and Land Spell (1930), before publishing her first adult novel and greatest success, As the Earth Turns (1933), a Book-of-the-Month Club selection about a family farm in southern Maine, which was made into a film in 1935. Her ambitious wartime novel Dunnybrook (1943) traced ten generations of Maine farmers. Other fiction includes A Few Foolish Ones (1935), Neighbor to the Sky (1937), While the Angels Sing (1947), West of the Hill (1949), One White Star (1954), Sing Out the Glory (1957), Come With Me Home (1960), The Road Grows Strange (1965), Next of Kin (1974), and Unless You Die Young (1977). In the 1960s and 1970s, Carroll published several memoirs—Only Fifty Years Ago (1962), about her childhood, To Remember Forever: The Journal of a College Girl 1922-1923 (1963), drawn from her own journals, Years Away from Home (1972), which revisits her childhood and continues into her writing career, and The Book That Came Alive (1979), about her experiences developing a folk play from As the Earth Turns, which was performed for more than a decade in her home town.

CASPARY, VERA (13 Nov 1899 – 13 Jun 1987)
(married name Goldsmith)
1920s – 1970s
Screenwriter, playwright, and novelist best known for her psychological suspense, particularly Laura (1943), upon which the classic 1944 film was based. Her first four novels—The White Girl (1929), Ladies and Gents (1929), Music in the Street (1930), and Thicker Than Water (1932)—were mainstream novels which garnered comparisons to the work of Fannie HURST. But with Laura she found her niche. Other successful suspense novels were Bedelia (1945, filmed in 1946), The Murder in the Stork Club (1946, aka The Lady in Mink), Stranger Than Truth (1946), The Weeping and the Laughter (1950, aka The Death Wish), Thelma (1952), False Face (1954), The Husband (1957), Evvie (1960), A Chosen Sparrow (1964), and The Man Who Loved His Wife (1966). Some of her late novels shift gears a bit. The Rosecrest Cell (1967) deals with American communists in Connecticut before and during World War II. One paperback publisher described The Dreamers (1975) as a "sweeping saga of women's fantasies and dark passions." And Elizabeth X (1978, aka The Secret of Elizabeth) is about a married couple trying to help a young woman with amnesia. Caspary's memoir was The Secrets of Grown-Ups (1979). She also wrote or co-wrote several plays and an array of screenplays, including Easy Living (1937), Claudia and David (1946), based on the novel by Rose FRANKEN, A Letter to Three Wives (1949), and I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1951).

CATHER, WILLA (WILELLA) [SIBERT] (7 Dec 1873 – 24 Apr 1947)
1900s – 1940s
One of the most important American authors of the 20th century, author of a dozen novels and several volumes of short stories. Among her most famous works are O Pioneers! (1913) and My Ántonia (1918), both set in the prairies of the Midwest and both focused on the immigrant farmers who settled the area. These novels also draw on Cather's own childhood living in Nebraska. The Professor's House (1925) deals with a professor's depression after finishing the multi-volume history that is his life's work, and his recollections of a former student killed in World War I. Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) is set in 19th century New Mexico, and Shadows on the Rock (1931) is set in 17th century Quebec. Cather's other novels are Alexander's Bridge (1912), The Song of the Lark (1915), One of Ours (1922), which won the Pulitzer Prize, A Lost Lady (1923), My Mortal Enemy (1926), Lucy Gayheart (1935), and Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940). Story collections include The Troll Garden (1905), Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920), Obscure Destinies (1932), and The Old Beauty and Others (1948). Cather is often identified as a lesbian author, though she was fiercely private and details of her personal life are sparse. She did, however, live for most of her adult life with Edith Lewis, an editor at McClure's Magazine, who is buried next to her in New Hampshire.

CAVANNA, BETTY (ELIZABETH) (24 Jun 1909 – 13 Aug 2001)
(married names Headley and Harrison, aka Betsy Allen, aka Elizabeth Headley)
1940s – 1980s
Author of more than 70 children's books, most for teenage girls and sometimes referred to as "malt shop stories." According to a New York Times article here about the genre, Cavanna "tended to write about not-quite-pretty girls with artistic ambitions or interests like aviation or competitive skiing." Writing as Betsy Allen, she published a series of twelve mysteries for girls, beginning with The Clue in Blue (1948), and she also published several books as Elizabeth Headley, including a trio about a girl named Diane beginning with A Date for Diane (1946). Other titles include The Black Spaniel Mystery (1945), Spurs for Suzanna (1947), A Girl Can Dream (1948), Catchpenny Street (1951), The Boy Next Door (1956), The Scarlet Sail (1959), A Touch of Magic (1961), Jenny Kimura (1964), Mystery in Marrakech (1968), Ghost of Ballyhooly (1971), Mystery of the Emerald Buddha (1976), The Surfer and the City Girl (1981), and Banner Year (1987). [Thanks to Julia and Constance for putting Cavanna and malt shop stories in general on my radar.]

CHAMBERS, JANE (7 Aug 1895 – Nov 1971)
(pseudonym of Olivia Krajewski Young, née Lukens)
1930s
Not to be confused with the later playwright Jane Chambers. Author of a single Western novel, Gunsmoke from the Sagebrush (1936).

CHASE, MARY ELLEN (24 Feb 1887 – 28 Jul 1973)
1910s – 1960s
Sister of Virginia CHASE. College professor and author of nearly 40 books, including novels, children's books, memoirs, and non-fiction on religious themes and on the craft of writing. Her fiction was often set in her home state of Maine, and some was based on her own family history. Her most successful novel was Windswept (1941), a saga about a Maine family from the late 19th century to the beginning of World War II, though The Edge of Darkness (1957), centered around a Maine fishing village, was reportedly the author's favorite. Other novels are Uplands (1927), Mary Peters (1934), Silas Crockett (1935), Dawn in Lyonesse (1938), The Plum Tree (1949), The Lovely Ambition (1960), and A Journey to Boston (1965). Her children's titles include The Girl from the Big Horn Country (1916), Mary Christmas (1926), The Silver Shell (1930), Sailing the Seven Seas (1958), Victoria: A Pig in a Pram (1963), and A Walk on an Iceberg (1966). Her memoirs are A Goodly Heritage (1932), A Goodly Fellowship (1939), and The White Gate: Adventures in the Imagination of a Child (1954). Chase taught at Smith College for nearly three decades, often spending her summers in England, which inspired her book This England (1936).

CHASE, VIRGINIA [LOWELL] (31 Jul 1902 – 20 Feb 1987)
(married name Perkins)
1940s – 1950s, 1970s
Sister of Mary Ellen CHASE. Schoolteacher and lecturer, journalist, biographer, and author of four novels, known for her writings about her home state of Maine. The American House (1944), set in the early 1900s in a small town in Maine, deals humorously with a family's attempts to make a go of a misshapen hotel. Discovery (1948) is about an empty-nester who becomes a nurses' aide in a city hospital. The End of the Week (1953) focuses on a group of elementary school teachers, presumably drawing from the author's own experiences. And One Crow, Two Crow (1971) is about the hardships of young love and marriage in working class Maine—Kirkus called it "[a] gently understated and wholly unaffected book which is easy to overlook but much harder come by with its radial appeal for all ages." The Knight of the Golden Fleece (1959) is a biography of William Phips, and early colonist of the Massachusetts, and Chase had earlier published The Writing of Modern Prose (1935). Speaking of Maine: Selections from the Writings of Virginia Chase appeared in 1983. Her husband, Wallace Perkins, was an inventor and executive at General Motors, who in retirement aided his wife in research for her work.

CHIDESTER, ANN [MARY] (7 Dec 1918 – 24 Nov 2002)
(married name O'Meara)
1940s – 1960s
Author of six novels, who received qualified praise from critics. Her listing in American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present says that her "novels show a concern for women and for the lower classes, but are frequently flawed by unnecessary dramatic and thematic complications, creating a lack of focus." Young Pandora (1942) is autobiographical in theme, about a young woman falling in love and becoming an author. Mama Maria's (1947) is set at a truck stop in the Midwest, dealing with a widow whose son has died in WWII and the veteran she hires and becomes close to. Her final novel, The Lost and the Found (1963), deals with the rape and murder of a migrant worker's child. The other titles are No Longer Fugitive (1943), The Long Year (1946), and Moon Gap (1950). Chidester died at the U.S. Consul in Dublin, suggesting her husband may have been Irish and she may have moved there with him.

CHILD, NELLISE (16 Sept 1901 – 11 Jun 1981)
(pseudonym of Lillian Rosenfeld, née Lieberman, earlier married name Gerard)
1930s – 1940s
Playwright and author of four novels. The first two—Murder Comes Home (1933) and The Diamond Ransom Murders (1935)—were mysteries, while the latter two—Wolf on the Fold (1941) and …If I Come Home (1943)—are more serious and, judging from reviews, tend toward melodrama. A French Wikipedia page for Child credits her with five plays—Weep for the Virgins (1935), After the Gleaners (1938), Sister Oakes (1940), Bird of Time (1959), and The Happy Ending (1960). She clearly seems to have been born Lillian Lieberman, but some records do show her first name as Nellise (as does her New York Times obituary), so perhaps it's a middle or family name? You can read some interesting tidbits from her press coverage here.

CHILDRESS, ALICE [FRANKLYN] (12 Oct 1916 – 14 Aug 1994)
(married name Woodard)
1950s – 1980s
Playwright, novelist, and children's author. Best known for her groundbreaking young adult novel A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (1973), which challenged the boundaries of children's fiction by centering around a 13-year-old heroin addict. The book was widely censored by schools, and became part of a Supreme Court case, but also earned wide acclaim for presenting the realities of inner-city life. The book was made into a movie in 1978. Childress began her career as a playwright, directing and starring in her first one-act play, Florence (1949). Other notable plays include Gold Through the Trees (1952), Trouble in Mind (1955), for which she became the first African-American woman honored with an Obie award, Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (1966), When the Rattlesnake Sounds (1975), a play for young adults presenting Harriet Tubman working as a hotel domestic to raise funds for the Underground Railroad, and Moms (1987), about innovative black comedienne Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Her first fiction was Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic's Life (1956), a series of fictional conversations between Mildred, an African-American domestic worker, and her friend Marge. That book was reprinted in 1986 and a new edition appeared in 2017 with a new introduction by Roxane Gay. Another novel for adults, A Short Walk (1979), reprinted in 2006, traces a black woman's harrowing life through the first half of the 20th century. She continued to court controversy in her final children's title, Those Other People (1989), which deals, among other things, with rape and homosexuality.

CHILTON, ELEANOR CARROLL (11 Sept 1898 – 8 Feb 1949)
(married name Agar)
1920s – 1930s
Poet and author of three novels which wrestle with serious themes. Shadows Waiting (1926) deals with an author's retreat from reality. The Burning Fountain (1929) is about about a couple determined to raise their children in a rational and orderly way, but find their third child beyond their comprehension. And Follow the Furies (1935), which was adapted as a play in 1940, is about a young woman who has killed her terminally ill mother and is then tormented by the implications. Chilton also published the non-fiction The Garment of Praise: The Necessity for Poetry (1929) and contributed to the poetry collection Fire and Sleet and Candlelight (1928). She was married for a time to Pulitzer Prize winning historian Herbert Agar.

CHUTE, B[EATRICE]. J[OY]. (3 Jan 1913 – 6 Sept 1987)
1930s – 1980s
Sister of Marchette CHUTE. Professor of writing and author of a dozen volumes of fiction. She began by publishing numerous sports-themed stories for boys in periodicals like Boy's Life. Blocking Back (1938), Shattuck Cadet (1940), and Camp Hero (1942), are novels for boys, while Shift to the Right (1944) and Teen-age Sports Parade (1949) are collections of some of her periodical stories. During the same period, she also published some romantic periodical fiction. In 1950, Chute published the first of seven adult novels, The Fields Are White (1950), about a period of crisis in the life of a man frustrated with small town life. Her most famous novel is Greenwillow (1956), about a village in which two ministers, the fire-and-brimstone Reverend Lapp and the nature-loving, feel-good Reverend Birdsong, influence a young man's romance. Greenwillow was made into a Broadway musical in 1960, with music by Frank Loesser of Guys and Dolls fame and featuring Anthony Hopkins. Her other novels are The End of Loving (1953), The Moon and the Thorn (1961), The Story of a Small Life (1971), Katie: An Impertinent Fairy Tale (1978), and The Good Woman (1986). She also published two collections of her adult stories— The Blue Cup and Other Stories (1957) and One Touch of Nature and Other Stories (1965). Chute was a professor of writing at Barnard College for many years, volunteered with an NYPD program to help at-risk youths, and had six foster children from all over the world.

CHUTE, MARCHETTE [GAYLORD] (16 Aug 1909 – 6 May 1994)
1940s – 1950s
Sister of B. J. CHUTE. Biographer, playwright, and children's author best known for her biographies of English literary figures, particularly Geoffrey Chaucer of England (1946) and Shakespeare of London (1949). She also used her specialized knowledge of those authors' time periods in two acclaimed children's titles, The Innocent Wayfaring (1943), set in 1370 Surrey, about the adventures of a young girl who had determined to run away to London to be an entertainer, and The Wonderful Winter (1954), about a young actor in Shakespeare's company. Chute also published children's poetry and non-fiction, as well as The First Liberty: A History of the Right to Vote in America 1619-1850 (1969).

CLARK, ELEANOR (6 Jul 1913 – 16 Feb 1996)
(married name Warren)
1940s, 1970s – 1980s
Wife of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Robert Penn Warren. Novelist, playwright, essayist, and travel writer, best known for two eloquent, widely-acclaimed travel books, Rome and a Villa (1952) and The Oysters of Locmariaquer (1964), the latter focused on a fishing community in Brittany. She also published four novels, beginning with The Bitter Box (1946), which Diana Trilling called "a serious, funny, and truthful picture of Communist doings in this country, and therefore a work of courage." It was more than 20 years later that her second novel, Baldur's Gate (1970), appeared, focused on the frustrations of a wife and mother in a small New England town. Gloria Mundi (1979) deals with the destruction of an idyllic New England town by greedy land developers, and Camping Out (1986), set in the Vermont wilderness, deals with two women on a camping trip who encounter a violent criminal. Clark's shorter works were collected in Dr Heart: A Novella and Other Stories (1974), and she published one additional travel book, Tamrart: 13 Days in the Sahara (1984). In the 1970s, Clark was diagnosed with macular degeneration, and her memoir, Eyes, Etc. (1977) focuses on her efforts to come to terms with her vision loss.

CLEARY, BEVERLY [ATLEE] (12 Apr 1916 -                  )
(née Bunn)
1950s – 2000s
One of the bestselling American authors of all time, with more than 90 million copies of her books in print, Cleary published more than three dozen volumes of children's fiction, of which many of the most famous are set within a single neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Her most famous character was young Ramona Quimby, who first appears in a supporting role in Cleary's debut, Henry Huggins (1950), but later moves center stage in works including Beezus and Ramona (1955), Ramona the Pest (1968), and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1981). Otis Spofford (1953) is credited with introducing one of the first "latchkey" kids, a child growing up with a single parent. A trilogy of popular adventure stories featured a mouse as main character—The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1965), Runaway Ralph (1970), and Ralph S. Mouse (1982). Although her best-known works are for young and middle-grade readers, Cleary also published books for teen readers. Her memoirs are A Girl from Yamhill (1988), which traces her childhood, and My Own Two Feet (1995), which follows her through college at the University of California, Berkeley, through the World War II years, and into her marriage and writing career.

COATES, GRACE STONE (20 May 1881 – 25 Jan 1976)
(née Stone)
1930s
Poet and author of two novels. Her selected poems appeared as Food of Gods and Starvelings in 2007. Her first novel, Black Cherries (1931), is comprised of a series of interlinked stories, in which a young girl on a Kansas farm tries to comprehend the hostilities and bitterness of her family members. It received positive reviews, but a second novel, Clear Title, was rejected by Knopf, her publisher, and didn't finally appear until 2014. Bios refer to at least 20 short stories which appeared in periodicals, but it's unclear if these have ever been collected.

COATSWORTH, ELIZABETH [JANE] (31 May 1893 – 31 Aug 1986)
(married name Beston)
1920s – 1970s
Poet and author of more than 80 volumes of fiction, including several novels for adults and numerous works for both young children and older readers. She was born in New York, lived for a time in California, Massachusetts, and England, and travelled extensively before marrying naturalist and author Henry Beston and settling in Maine, which formed the backdrop for much of her fiction. Her most famous book for young children was The Cat Who Went to Heaven (1930), a story about an artist and his cat based on a Japanese folktale. For older children, she published the Sally series of five books set in early New England, including Away Goes Sally (1934), Five Bushel Farm (1939), The Fair American (1940), The White Horse (1942), and The Wonderful Day (1946). Others include A Toast to the King (1940), about Loyalist girls after the American Revolution, Plum Duffy Adventures (1947), about three children in a Cape Cod cottage for the summer, The House of the Swan (1948), set in France in a house carved out of cliffs, Door to the North (1950), about Viking visits to the North American in the 14th century, Dollar for Luck (1951, aka The Sailing Hatrack), about a 19th century family's life on a sailing ship, and Pure Magic (1973, aka The Werefox, aka The Fox Boy), about a boy whose friend turns into a fox at night and must be rescued from a hunt. Coatsworth's adult novels include Here I Stay (1938), about a girl living alone in her Maine home after her neighbors all move west, The Trunk (1941), about a young wife adjusting to life in San Juan with her painter husband, Country Neighborhood (1944), set in rural Maine and making use of local folklore, and a series of three interlinked "incredible tales"—The Enchanted (1951), Silky (1953), and Mountain Bride (1954)—about faeries and other supernatural creatures in the New England countryside. Coatsworth published a short memoir, A Personal Geography, in 1976.

COCKRELL, MARIAN B[RADFORD]. (15 Mar 1909 – 9 Dec 1999)
(née Brown)
1940s, 1960s – 1970s
Screenwriter, children's author, and novelist, best known for her children's fantasy Shadow Castle (1945), about a young girl visiting a kingdom inhabited only by shadows. Her other fiction was for adults. Her early novels—Yesterday's Madness (1943), Lillian Harley (1943), Dark Waters (1944, co-written with husband Francis Marion Cockrell), and Something Between (1946)—seem to have had romantic themes. She is more famous, however, for three later historical novels—The Revolt of Sarah Perkins (1965), about a schoolteacher in a Colorado mining town, Mixed Blessings (1978, aka Mixed Company), about a young woman supporting herself and her brother in a small Southern town at the turn of the century, and The Misadventures of Bethany Price (1979), about a young girl just after the Civil War, who runs away from an unhappy marriage to a small town in the West.

COLE, HAZEL [BOWKER] (8 Jul 1889 - ????)
(married name Shupp)
1920s
Author of a single novel, Maids Will Be Wives (1929), tracing a young woman's life from her college days through her children's leaving home. Cole seems to have been an English professor at the Pennsylvania College for Women. There's a Social Security claim in her name in August of 1954, presumably the year of her retirement, but we haven't been able to trace her beyond that year.

COLEMAN, EMILY HOLMES (22 Jan 1899 – 13 Jun 1974)
(née Holmes)
1930s
Journalist, poet, and author of a single novel, The Shutter of Snow (1930), a somewhat experimental work based on her own time in a mental hospital with post-partum depression following the birth of her son. Holmes had moved with her psychologist husband to Paris during the late 1920s, among the expatriate community and the vibrant and experimental literary scene, which no doubt impacted the form and style of her novel. The Shutter of Snow was reprinted by the esteemed Dalkey Archive Press in the 1990s. Among her other achievements, Coleman worked with famed anarchist Emma Goldman to edit Goldman's memoir Living My Life (1931). A few years later, Coleman was instrumental in arranging for the publication of Djuna BARNES's major novel, Nightwood. According to the University of Delaware Special Collections Department, which holds Coleman's papers, she completed a second novel, Tygon, which was never published, as well as numerous unpublished plays, stories, diaries, and poems. See their informative page about the papers here. The first volume of her edited diaries, Rough Draft: The Modernist Diaries of Emily Holmes Coleman, 1929-1937, appeared in 2012.

COLLINS, MARY [GORDON] (14 Jan 1908 – 15 May 1979)
(née Garden, earlier married name Bovard)
1940s
Author of six mystery novels set in California, where Collins spent most of her life—The Fog Comes (1941), Only the Good (1942), Dead Center (1942), Sister of Cain (1943), Death Warmed Over (1947), and Dog Eat Dog (1949).

COLVER, ALICE [MARY] ROSS (28 Aug 1892 – 1 Sept 1988)
(née Ross, aka Mary Randall)
1910s – 1960s
Author of nearly 60 volumes of fiction, including girls' stories and romantic novels for adults. Her children's fiction includes three series focused on Babs (1918-1920), Jeanne (1920-1923), and Joan Foster (1942-1952). In the 1960s, she published three girls' career stories—Janet Moore, Physical Therapist (1965), Vicky Barnes, Junior Hospital Volunteer (1966), and Sally, Star Pianist (1968). Her first romantic novel for adults was The Dear Pretender (1924), and was followed by titles such as The Redheaded Goddess (1929), Modern Madonna (1932), Passionate Puritan (1933), Substitute Lover (1936), When There Is Love (1940), The Merrivales (1943), and The Parson (1951). She also published two historical novels, The Measure of the Years (1954) and There Is a Season (1957).

COMSTOCK, HARRIET [THERESA] (12 Aug 1860 – 6 Sept 1949)
(née Smith)
1900s – 1940s
Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction, including several children's titles. Some of her earlier titles are historical in subject, while later novels appear to be romances. Titles include Molly, the Drummer Boy: A Story of the Revolution (1900), Tower or Throne: A Romance of the Girlhood of Elizabeth (1902), The Queen's Hostage (1906), Joyce of the Northern Woods (1911), Camp Brave Pine: A Camp Fire Girl Story (1913), Mam'selle Jo (1918), The Tenth Woman (1923), made into a silent film the same year, Smothered Fires (1924), Penelope's Web (1928), Strange Understanding (1933), Can This Be Wrong? (1937), Doctor Harvgreave's Assistant (1940), Windy Corners (1942), and Terry (1943). Some online sources give other death dates, but I believe she's the Harriet Comstock who died in 1949 in Brooklyn, where we know the author lived for many years.

COMSTOCK, SARAH (20 Mar 1875 – 20 Jan 1960)
1910s – 1920s
Journalist and author of five novels, as well as a non-fiction guide to motherhood and a travel book about historical New York City. Her debut novel, The Soddy (1912), deals with the hardships of pioneers in Kansas. The Valley of Vision (1919) seems, from a publisher blurb, to be a romance, while The Daughter of Helen Kent (1921) deals with a young mother abandoned by her husband. Speak to the Earth (1927) is about a struggling sheepherder and a former shop girl from the East trying to make a go of it in the Bad Lands. Her final novel, The Moon Is Made of Green Cheese (1929), deals with astronomy and has some science-fiction interest. Detailed information about Comstock is sparse, but another publisher blurb says, "Miss Comstock lived the life of a sod house dweller for a year and worked with the farmers' wives, just as if she was a daughter of the plain instead of a successful journalist, novelist, and suffragette."

CONVERSE, FLORENCE (30 Apr 1871 – 13 Feb 1967)
1900s – 1930s
Poet and author of at least six volumes of fiction. She has been described by a modern critic as a "Christian socialist" novelist and was on the staff of the Atlantic Monthly for many years. Diana Victrix (1897) is set in Converse's native New Orleans. Long Will (1903) is a historical novel based on the life of Piers Plowman author William Langland, of which Bookman said: "In spite of the fact that it is more than half a poem, a sort of prose epic full of a dignified and lofty symbolism, it is none the less saturated with genuine human nature." The House of Prayer (1908) seems to be a Christian-themed children's book. Into the Void (1926) is subtitled "A Bookshop Mystery," and was described by the Wisconsin Library Bulletin as: "A delightful story of the disappearance 'into the fourth dimension' of a book shop manager and a poet. The shop in question is supposedly the Hathaway Bookshop of Wellesley." Other fiction includes The Burden of Christopher (1900) and Sphinx (1931). Her Collected Poems appeared in 1937. She also published Wellesley College: A Chronicle of the Years 1875-1938 (1939), about her alma mater.

COOK, FANNIE (4 Oct 1893 – 25 Aug 1949)
(née Frank)
1930s – 1940s
Teacher, journalist, activist, and author of five novels reflecting her concern with social equality, particularly in regard to African-American rights and anti-Semitism. The Hill Grows Steeper (1938) is a presumably autobiographical portrait of a woman balancing marriage, motherhood, job, and political concerns. Boot-Heel Doctor (1941) is set among sharecroppers in the southeast "boot-heel" of Missouri during the Depression. Mrs Palmer's Honey (1946), according to Kirkus, focuses "on the transformation of 'Mrs. Palmer's Honey',—nameless, efficient, unobtrusive maid in a St. Louis household—into Honey Hoop, socially conscious war worker." Storm Against the Wall (1948) focuses more on anti-Semitism, dealing with a family of long-settled German-Jewish immigrants in St Louis and their entended family back in Germany facing the crisis of Nazism. The Long Bridge (1949) focuses on the St Louis art scene, with which Cook was also involved. That work was published posthumously following Cook's sudden death of heart attack at age 56.

CORBETT, ELIZABETH [FRANCES] (30 Sept 1887 – 24 Jan 1981)
1910s – 1970s
Author of more than 50 novels often referred to as "family fiction" or "nice novels about nice people," many of them historical in setting and some featuring recurring characters. Seven novels focus on Mrs Meigs—The Young Mrs Meigs (1931), A Nice Long Evening (1933), Mrs Meigs and Mr Cunningham (1936), She Was Carrie Eaton (1938), Mr and Mrs Meigs (1940), Excuse Me, Mrs Meigs (1949), and Our Mrs Meigs (1954). Another series, beginning with Mount Royal (1936), focuses on inhabitants of a small town. Other titles include Cecily and the Wide World (1916), The Graper Girls (1931), The Graper Girls Go to College (1932), The House Across the River (1934), Early Summer (1942), Portrait of Isabelle (1951), Family Portrait (1955), Hamilton Terrace (1960), The Continuing City (1965), Hotel Belvedere (1970), and Sunday at Six (1971). Corbett had a particular connection to the time period during and after the American Civil War, perhaps because she was raised at Milwaukee's National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, where her father was an administrator. Her memoir, Out at the Soldiers' Home (1941), deals with her childhood and her experiences with the veterans living there. Corbett also published two biographical works, Walt: The Good Gray Poet Speaks for Himself (1928), purportedly told by Walt Whitman himself, and "If It Takes All Summer": The Life Story of Ulysses S. Grant (1930).

COUNSELMAN, MARY ELIZABETH (19 Nov 1911 – 4 May 1994)
(married name Vinyard)
1930s – 1980s(?)
Author of periodical fiction and poetry, particularly ghost stories and tales of the supernatural or of science-fiction. Some of her stories were collected in Half in Shadow (1964, reprinted with additional stories, 1978) and African Yesterdays: A Collection of Native Folktales (1975, enlarged edition 1977). Several of her stories were also adapted for television.

CRANE, FRANCES (27 Oct 1890 – 6 Nov 1981)
(née Kirkwood)
1930s – 1960s
Author of around 30 novels, all mysteries except the first and all but four of the remaining in her hugely popular Pat and Jean Abbott series, about a husband and wife team based in Santa Maria, New Mexico, a thinly-veiled version of Taos, though the duo frequently travel throughout the U.S. and internationally. Crane's first book, The Tennessee Poppy (1932), was described by Rue Morgue Press as a collection of her sketches from The New Yorker, though the Bookman sums up the plot as "A little Southern dumbbell sets out to marry into the English aristocracy." Following her divorce, and after being expelled from Nazi Germany for a series of anti-Nazi articles, she turned to mystery writing with The Turquoise Shop (1941). Her Abbott series was popular enough to inspire a radio show, Abbott Mysteries, which ran 1945-1947. Other titles in the series (all but the last of which feature colors in their titles) include The Yellow Violet (1942), The Pink Umbrella (1943), The Shocking Pink Hat (1946), The Flying Red Horse (1950), Murder in Bright Red (1953), Horror on the Ruby X (1956), The Man in Gray (1958, aka The Gray Stranger), and Body Beneath a Mandarin Tree (1965). That last title and her four non-series books were published only in the U.K.

CROCKETT, LUCY HERNDON (4 Apr 1914 – 30 Jul 2002)
1930s – 1960s
Travel writer, children's author, and novelist. Daughter of a senior military officer for Theodore Roosevelt, she spent much of her childhood on military bases, including in the Philippines, which provides the setting of her first three children's titles—Lucio and His Nuong (1939), That Mario (1940), and Capitán: The Story of an Army Mule (1940). Teru: A Tale of Yokohama (1950) is about a young Japanese girl and her family just after the end of World War II, and Pong Choolie, You Rascal! (1951) deals with a North Korean boy during the Korean War. Crockett is most famous for her first novel, The Magnificent Bastards (1954, aka The Magnificent Devils), about women working (as Crockett herself did) with the Red Cross during World War II. It was made into the film The Proud and Profane (1956) starring William Holden and Deborah Kerr. The Year Something Almost Happened in Pinoso (1960) appears to also be a novel, but I haven't found any details about it. Her travel books are Popcorn on the Ginza (1949), about postwar Japan, and Kings Without Castles (1957), about her time in Spain.

CURRY, PEGGY SIMSON (30 Dec 1911 – 20 Jan 1987)
(née Simson)
1950s, 1970s
Born in Scotland, but raised from the age of 3 in rural Colorado where her father was a rancher, Curry published three novels, one children's book, and two collections of poetry. Fire in the Water (1951) is about Scottish herring fisherman. So Far From Spring (1956) is semi-autobiographical, about the daughter of a Scottish rancher in Wyoming. And The Oil Patch (1959) is about a married couple working in an oil camp in Wyoming during the Depression. Her final work of fiction was A Shield of Clover (1970), about a 17-year-old runaway who makes his way to a ranch in Wyoming. In 1981, Curry became Wyoming's first Poet Laureate.

CURTISS, URSULA [KIERAN] (8 Apr 1923 – 10 Oct 1984)
(née Reilly)
1940s – 1980s
Daughter and sister, respectively, of mystery/suspense writers Helen REILLY and Mary MCMULLEN. Author of nearly two dozen novels which, according to the St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, "successfully blended elements of the gothic and the detective genres into popular suspense stories. She was a master at creating intriguing chapter endings and swiftly paced plots, and the portraits of even relatively minor characters … are sharply and memorably drawn." Titles include Voice Out of Darkness (1948), The Noonday Devil (1951, aka Catch a Killer), The Iron Cobweb (1954), The Stairway (1957), So Dies the Dreamer (1960), The Forbidden Garden (1962, aka Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?), filmed as What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? in 1969, Don't Open the Door (1968), The Birthday Gift (1975, aka Dig a Little Deeper), The Poisoned Orchard (1980), and Death of a Crow (1983).

CUSHMAN, CLARISSA [WHITE] FAIRCHILD (13 Jan 1889 – 18 Feb 1980)
(née Fairchild)
1920s – 1950s
Author of nine novels, many of them serialized in major American magazines. This Side of Regret (1937) is about a married designer who falls for an army officer. The Other Brother (1939) is a college story (Cushman's husband was a professor at Cornell) which the Ithaca Journal called "heartwarming". All the more surprising, perhaps, that her next novel was I Wanted to Murder (1940), a well received mystery. Young Widow (1942) was turned into a film of the same name in 1946, starring Jane Russell. Her other novels were The New Poor (1927), But for Her Garden (1935), Bright Hill (1936), Glass Barracks (1950), and Fatal Step (1953).

NOTE: The comment function on Blogger is notoriously cranky. If you're having problems, try selecting "Name/URL" or "Anonymous" from the "Comment as" drop-down (be sure to "sign" your comment, though, so I know who dropped by). Some people also find it easier using a browser like Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer.

But it can still be a pain, and if you can't get any of that to work, please email me at furrowed.middlebrow@gmail.com. I do want to hear from you!