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May 12, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

The Life She Wished to Live: An Evening with Ann McCutchan and Bonnie Friedman on Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


May 12, 2021
7:00 pm



Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present…

An Evening with Ann McCutchan

In conversation with Bonnie Friedman

The Life She Wished to Live: A Biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling 

(Norton, $35)

Wednesday, May 12, 7pm ET

LIVE via Crowdcast




Please note this is a free event! However, if you would like to make a contribution to support Books & Books’ virtual events, we are grateful for any and all donations. Donations can be made in the upper righthand corner, above the “Save My Spot!” registration button. Thank you!

A comprehensive and engaging biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the beloved classic The Yearling.

Washington, DC, born and Wisconsin educated, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an unlikely author of a coming-of-age novel about a poor central Florida child and his pet fawn—much less one that has become synonymous with Florida literature writ large.

Rawlings was a tough, ambitious, and independent woman who refused the conventions of her early-twentieth-century upbringing. Determined to forge a literary career beyond those limitations, she found her voice in the remote, hardscrabble life of Cross Creek, Florida. There, Rawlings purchased a commercial orange grove and discovered a fascinating world out of which to write—and a dialect of the poor, swampland community that the literary world had yet to hear. She employed her sensitive eye, sharp ear for dialogue, and philosophical spirit to bring to life this unknown corner of America in vivid, tender detail, a feat that earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1938. Her accomplishments came at a price: a failed first marriage, financial instability, a contentious libel suit, alcoholism, and physical and emotional upheaval.

With intimate access to Rawlings’s correspondence and revealing early writings, Ann McCutchan uncovers a larger-than-life woman who writes passionately and with verve, whose emotions change on a dime, and who drinks to excess, smokes, swears, and even occasionally joins in on an alligator hunt. The Life She Wished to Live paints a lively portrait of Rawlings, her contemporaries—including her legendary editor, Maxwell Perkins, and friends Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—and the Florida landscape and people that inspired her.



About the Author:

Ann McCutchan is the author of six works of biography and memoir, including Marcel Moyse: Voice of the Flute and Where’s the Moon?: A Memoir of the Space Coast and the Florida Dream.?The founding director of the University of Wyoming’s MFA in creative writing program and former editor of American Literary Review, McCutchan grew up in Florida and now lives in Wyoming.


About the Moderator:

Bonnie Friedman is the author of the bestselling Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer’s Life, named one of the “Essential Books for Writing” according to The Center for Fiction, and one of “The Best Books for Writers,” according to Poets & Writers.  Her work is regularly cited as “Notable” in Best American Essays and has been included in The Best American Movie Writing, The Best Writing on Writing, and The Best Spiritual Writing.