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Big Doc's Girl (Buried Treasure) Paperback – January 27, 2006
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About the Author
Mary Madearis Bio:
Though she always considered herself a musician, Mary Myrtle Medearis was best known as the author of , a novel that grew out of an assigned autobiographical short story in a creative writing class. It has the distinction of having stayed in print longer than any other work of fiction by an Arkansas author. Ever tenacious, Medearis enjoyed great success as a writer and historian in spite of her humble beginnings - and partly because of them.
Mary Medearis was born in North Little Rock. As a young girl, her mother, Myrtle Hendricks taught her to play the piano and gave lessons to help support the family. Her father, Dr. Robert Medearis, practiced medicine as a country doctor. Mary, whose maternal grandparents were seasoned vaudeville performers, inherited her family's love for music.
She decided to enroll in a speech class at Columbia University because New Yorkers had trouble understanding her Arkansas accent. Upon registering, Medearis learned that the speech class was full but that a creative writing class had openings. The registrar told her the writing class would also emphasize oral performance, so she enrolled. When the writing professor assigned an autobiographical short story, Medearis wrote “The Death of a Country Doctor” about the death of her father. Her writing teacher was so impressed with her work that he entered it in a competition sponsored by Story magazine and won. A film producer encouraged her to develop a screenplay, which led to a publishing contract with the J. B. Lippincott Company for a novel-length treatment of the same story. Medearis used her advance to buy a new piano.
Upon its publication, was praised in the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and scores of other publications. It soon earned a place on the New York Times Bestseller List, and the Times also named it one of the ten best books published that year.
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Top customer reviews
Given the picture on the front--a girl playing piano and a doctor standing behind her--and the summary on the publication page, I presumed one thing that turned out to be another altogether. Not until near the end did I see the error of my assumptions.
I'm thinking this is a good thing; how stories (and lives) can appear to go one direction and then suddenly change paths. Of course, Medearis put enough foreshadowing all through the book so that the denouement is satisfying. Characters who proclaim, "I'll never do thus and so," often eat their words, as happens in this case.
I was not prepared for the family death. Rather, I was not prepared for that particular member's death. I suppose because of the cover picture, which, after reading the book, made perfect sense.
With only three other reviews, dating as far back as 1999, I can only suppose that the book is out-of-print. I'm certainly glad I have a copy even though I don't know from whence it came.
I highly recommend this book--if you can find it.