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Category: Alumni Authors

Title:Marge & Julia: The Correspondence Between Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Julia Scribner Bigham

Author: Florence M. Turcotte (C'80, G'90), Brent E. Kinser, Rodger L. Tarr
Date Published: June 14, 2022

Exploring the rich, enduring companionship shared by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Julia Scribner Bigham through never-before-published letters, Marge and Julia provides a revelatory depiction of these two literary women’s experiences in mid-twentieth-century America.

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Rawlings was first introduced to Julia Scribner (later Bigham), daughter of publishing magnate Charles Scribner III, shortly after the legendary Scribner House published The Yearling to runaway success. Though Julia’s New York City life was far removed from the rural world of Cross Creek, the two women remained close until Rawlings’s death in 1953, after which Scribner Bigham served as Rawlings’s literary executor. In this documentary edition of 211 of their letters, Rawlings’s and Bigham’s perspectives on the world are woven through over a decade of intimate discussion and advice about relationships, motherhood, mental health, politics, art, and literature.

Supplementing the letters with an introduction, explanatory footnotes, and a reminiscence by Scribner Bigham’s eldest daughter, Hildreth Julia Bigham McCarthy, MD, this edition provides historical context and prompts readers to inspect the facets of both women’s complex relationship with issues such as racial discrimination, class, and gender inequality. These letters offer an unprecedented performance of two women’s intimate friendship, one that transcended the limitations of patriarchy as they wrote their lives in letters.

(University Press of Florida, 2022)

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