"This trove of letters offers the most intimate portrait available of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist best known as the author of The Yearling, Cross Creek, and South Moon Under. Rawlings was one of Scribner's best-selling novelists of the 1940s and a protegee of their famous editor Maxwell E. Perkins."
"The letters, written to her second husband, Norton S. Baskin, from 1938 to her death in 1953, present a sharply drawn picture of the nation as it struggled through the end of the Depression, World War II, and the beginning of the Cold War era, as well as a picture of Rawlings's intriguing life, which ranged from the Florida scrub to the New York literary scene. Above all, they reveal the temperamental writer at her most human - candid, lonely, insecure, bawdy, generous, and always fortified by her love for Baskin."
"The letters are especially lively when Rawlings chronicles her life at Cross Creek, her home in remote north central Florida. Her language in these letters reveals her tough, enigmatic personality. They also describe friendships with Perkins and with her publisher, Charles Scribner III, and his daughter Julia, her unofficial goddaughter and later her literary executor; with socialites who visited St. Augustine, Florida, where Baskin owned a posh hotel; with the rich and famous Owen D. Youngs of Van Hornesville, New York; and with writers as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, Margaret Mitchell, and Zora Neale Hurston.
One of the latter, her friend and fellow novelist James Branch Cabell, convinced Rawlings to write a biography of writer Ellen Glasgow, a contemporary best-selling writer and a friend of both. Although Rawlings died before she could complete it, these letters reveal the sensational secrets divulged to her by Glasgow's Richmond intimates." "Near the end of Rawlings's life, when she was worn out by illness, alcohol, and depression, Baskin remained her champion, always listening to her complaints and indulging her whims. In this unvarnished narrative we come to know, as he did, an American writer who was a complex personality, as hard on herself as she was on those she loved."--Jacket.