Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Fl-Ha)

Glasgow, Ellen

family vein social

(US, 1873–1945)

Glasgow's popular family saga novels were informed by the history, mentality, and social codes of the deep South of the United States, where she was brought up. They reflect especially on women's roles, and challenge the Southern romantic tradition; some are in the vein of social realism, others are comedies of manners. Barren Ground (1925) features a strong woman, Dorinda Oakley, who returns to the rundown family farm and sets about restoring it in the face of many adversities. Vein of Iron (1935) follows the Fincastle family, Scotch-Irish settlers in Virginia's Great Valley, from the turn of the century to the stock market crash of 1929 and beyond. Perhaps her most appealing book is The Sheltered Life (1932), a witty satire set amongst the decaying Virginian gentry. Eva Birdsong, a declining beauty, is depressed by her inattentive husband's involvement with a naïve young girl and takes drastic action.

Willa Cather, Robert Penn Warren  JS

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