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Edna Ferber was a woman with a great wit and striking talent; she didn't just have huge stories to tell, she had the craft to tell them with wit and charm. Her novels and stories generally featured strong female protagonists, and generally she spent a good deal of the tale focusing on a secondary character facing discrimination of one sort or another. She was a member of the notorious Algonquin Round Table, a group of wits who met for lunch every day at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. When she died on April 16, 1968, (at her home in New York City, of cancer, at the age of 82) the New York Times said, "she was among the best-read novelists in the nation, and critics of the 1920s and 1930s did not hesitate to call her the greatest American woman novelist of her day."
Edna Ferber (1885 - 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), Cimarron (1929; made into the 1931 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie) and Ice Palace (1958), filmed in 1960. Ferber's novels generally featured strong female protagonists, along with a rich and diverse collection of supporting characters. She usually highlighted at least one strong secondary character who faced discrimination ethnically or for other reasons; through this technique, Ferber demonstrated her belief that people are people and that the not-so-pretty people have the best character.