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In the nearly fifty years since Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings novel The Yearling1938 was published it has joined the distinguished ranks of Robinson Crusoe 1719 Two Years Before the Mast 1840 and The Last of the Mohicans 1826-all books not originally intended for children that nevertheless have become classic boys books During her lifetime Rawlings published nothing intended for children The Secret River 1955 a picture book was published posthumously but it is a slight story of a child who saves her father and her forest community from hard times by catching a large number of catfish in a river that she can never find afterward It is written in a very simple style with the somewhat condescending tone typical of many books of the mid twentieth century intended for young children and is more notable for its illustrations by Leonard Weisgard than for its fanciful text The Yearling however has retained a faithful audience of young and older readers not only because of its touching story of a lonely boy and his pet deer but also because of its strong characterization of the independent Florida Crackers and its vivid evocation of the wild beauty of the Florida scrub country Rawlings was not a native of the northern Florida country she loved and made famous She was born in Washington DC on 8 August 1896 In 1914 she moved to Madison Wisconsin with her recently widowed mother and her brother so that she could enter the University of Wisconsin In college Rawlings was an excellent and prominent student She was chosen for Mortar Board a womens honor society and for Phi Beta Kappa she was an active member of Red Domino the campus dramatic group writing and acting in a number of productions After her graduation in 1918 she worked as a publicist for the Young Womens Christian Association at the national headquarters in New York City In 1919 she married her college friend Charles A
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