Ferber, Edna 1887–1968
Ferber was an American novelist, short story writer, journalist, and playwright whose fiction celebrates the American character and landscape. Throughout a successful writing career that spanned four decades, Ferber consistently and sentimentally described characters from the middle class, which represented for her an American ideal. Several of her popular novels have been adapted for film, including Giant and Show Boat. Ferber was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for So Big in 1924. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 5-8, rev. ed.; obituary, Vols. 25-28, rev. ed., and Something about the Author, Vol. 7.)
["Fanny Herself"] is the most serious, extended, and dignified of Miss Ferber's books. Its first half, in particular, is quite the best work that [Miss Ferber] has done. The earlier stages of the career of Fanny Brandeis—her advance from the small bazaar … to an important position in a big mail-order house in Chicago—is full of unction, verve and passion…. Later on the author succumbs to that necessary but troublesome thing, a plot. The head of the mail-order house shows himself objectionable, if not dangerous; and a clever young newspaper man of Fanny's own race and own home town leads her to peace and safety. He rescues her from a career of business and business only, and aids her to realize herself as a woman and not as the mere head of a department—an ending which the trend and tone of the story had seemed to threaten. "Fanny Herself" is a vivid, vital, full-blooded book; dealing with "big business" and the ascent of a forceful and persistent race, it is more successful than some of its kind in avoiding essential offences to ideality and taste.
"Notes On New Fiction: 'Fanny Herself'," in The Dial (copyright, 1917, by The Dial Publishing Company, Inc.), Vol. 63, November 8, 1917 (and reprinted by Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1917), p. 463.