Today is the birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953), best known for her book The Yearling, published in 1938. It was the best-selling novel in America in that year and won the Pulitzer Prize the following year.
The Yearling is about an adolescent boy in rural Florida who adopts an orphaned baby deer named Flag, becomes really close to the deer, and then, in the end, has to shoot Flag because it's eating all the family's crops.
The Yearling was adapted for the screen in 1946 and was a favorite rerun during the early days of television. I loved the movie although I always cried when I watched it.
Cross Creek is a 1983 film based, in part, on Rawlings' 1942 memoir by the same title. The film stars Mary Steenburgen as Rawlings. I loved this movie as well.
Cross Creek is the name of a hamlet near Hawthorne, Florida, where Rawlings purchased a 72 acre orange grove in 1928. She brought international fame to the place through her writing. She was fascinated with the remote wilderness and the lives of Cross Creek residents, her "Florida cracker" neighbors, and felt a profound and transforming connection to the region and the land.
Her land at Cross Creek is now the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park.
|Rawlings home at Cross Creek|
Did you read the book or see the movie The Yearling when you were growing up? If you haven’t seen Cross Creek, you should check it out. I think you’d enjoy it very much, even though it’s now considered an “old” movie.
Rawlings wrote many more books about her experiences at Cross Creek. I noted that some are available free via the Gutenberg project. I think I'll check it out, as I've never read any of her other books.