The Dollmaker

Author(s): Harriette Simpson Arnow

Classic Fiction

A REDISCOVERED AMERICAN CLASSIC. Gertie is the young mother of five children - uneducated, determined, strong. Her only ambition is to own her own small farm in the Kentucky hills where she lives, to become self-sufficient and free. Whenever the struggle to live off the land eases, her inarticulate imagination takes its freedom and flies. Because Gertie is also an artist, a sculptor of wood and creator of beautiful handmade dolls. When the family is forced to move to industrial Detroit, with its pre-fab houses, appliances bought on credit and neighbours on every side, life turns into an incomprehensible, lonely nightmare. Gertie realises she must adapt to a life where land, family and creativity are replaced by just one thing: the constant need for money. "A masterwork...A superb book of unforgettable strength and glowing richness." (New York Times). With An Afterword By Joyce Carol Oates.


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"A masterwork...A superb book of unforgettable strength and glowing richness" New York Times "It is a legitimate tragedy, our most unpretentious American masterpiece" -- Joyce Carol Oates "The depth and power and stature of this enormous book are rare indeed in modern fiction" New York Times "The Dollmaker has vividness and terrific reality. It is a book to make one think...a story of the strength of the human heart against bitter odds... Deeply sincere and moving" Chicago Tribune "The Dollmaker's depiction of family life - the entangled bonds between parents and children, brothers and sisters - is unparalleled in modern fiction" Georgia Review

Harriette Arnow was an American teacher, novelist, social historian and essayist, celebrated for her works on the populations of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. She was born into a family of teachers in 1908 and after studying at the University of Louisville taught for two years in a school in rural Pulaski County. These experiences provided the basis for her first novel, Mountain Path. After spending time in Cincinnati and Kentucky, Arnow moved with her husband and two children to a farm in Michigan. It was there that she wrote The Dollmaker in 1954, a book that would become a landmark in American fiction. It was at that same farm that she died in 1984.

General Fields

  • : 9781784871871
  • : Vintage Publishing
  • : Vintage Classics
  • : 0.492
  • : January 2017
  • : May 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Harriette Simpson Arnow
  • : Paperback
  • : 517
  • : en
  • : 624