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Cross Creek Paperback – March 20, 1996
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Rawlings would eventually remarry, and both her second marriage and her literary success would gradually lead her away from both her farm and the Cross Creek community--but she would never leave them entirely, always returning for the inspiration that fed her best works. The property was still in her possession and still in use as both a citrus grove and occasional residence at the time of her sudden death of cerebral hemorrhage in 1953. Rawlings left the it to the University of Florida, and in 1970 the property was turned over to the State of Florida for restoration and management. Restoration was completed in 1996, and while the large citrus grove that once surrounded the farm house has been reduced to a representative portion, visitors can now see the property as it existed in the 1930s and 1940s.
Although Rawlings won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel THE YEARLING and would publish several other novels and short story collections, today her literary reputation rests largely on the book CROSS CREEK, in which she details both her own struggle on the land the lives of the community as she knew it during the 1930s.Read more ›
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings purchased a seventy-two acre orange grove in this remote area and fled her aristocratic life in the city to perfect her craft and get published. It is here all her beloved books would be born, including this memoir covering the years of hardships and beauty at the creek. Rawlings herself would become a part of the earth and land as she was reborn here in Cross Creek and would leave behind literary achievements such as "South Moon Under," "Golden Apples," "When the Whipporwill," "Cross Creek Cookery," and of course, her Pulitzer winning, "The Yearling."
Her close relationships with her neighbors at the creek, both black and white, are told with humor and humanity. Their lives were often filled with hardships but serenity as well, for all of them had chosen to live this kind of life rather than conform to society. Especially poignant are Rawlings' observations of a young destitute couple who would be portrayed so movingly in Jacob's Ladder.
Rawlings' recollections of her friendship with Moe, and especially his daughter Mary, who was Moe's reason for living and the only one in his family who cared when he came or went, are told with such beauty we feel pain ourselves when he takes his last breath at the creek. Her deep friendships over the years with Tom and Old Martha are told with humor, honesty and a gift for description few have ever had.Read more ›
Cross Creek is a book of essays about the life and people in Marjorie's world. Some of her characterizations might not translate in our ethnically-sensitized world and I understand the author was sued by one subject who didn't appreciate her characterization. However, Marjorie's respect and affection for her subjects is apparent in every sentence. Her appreciation for the natural wonders of her world (even insects and reptiles) will refresh the perspective of those who live close to nature and create a longing in those who do not.
Finally, Cross Creek is a glimpse into a long overlooked and vanishing part of the American South. Before the explosion of Orlando, a lot of Florida was rural acreage inhabited by people who lived off the land. Marjorie does not romanticize this existance; one of her wryest essays is about her long-running battle against outdoor plumbing. However, she does show the victories and tragedies of a vanishing people.
Cross Creek is to be read, re-read and loved. I only wish I could discover it all over again, myself.
The lyrical descriptions of wildlife and the orange groves and wild landscape are very appealing. Your mouth waters as you read her essays on downhome foods like hush puppies. She turned those into a cookbook which I'll have to try out.
Modern readers squirm uncomfortably at her use of the N----- word and her characterization of blacks as irresponsible, drunken, immoral, etc. It is probably a faithful representation of common thinking at the time it was written, so recognize it as a snapshot of the times. Then move past that to luxuriate in the beautiful passages in the book. (I deducted 1 star for this)
The reader becomes absorbed in Rawlings' love of the land and the creation of a home. It gives much the same feelings as A Year in Provence or Under a Tuscan Sun.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just started reading, but I've read enough previous comments in other sources to know this is a classic tale of the real Florida.Published 11 days ago by John R. Sproat Jr.
Interesting historical memoir about life in 1930s rural Florida. Very enjoyable read.Published 1 month ago by A. Lochman
Amazon should be ashamed of sending out this product without warning the customer. The print was extremely small and whenever a chapter ended the next one began even if it was in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Leslie J. Waldbaum
The book is very interesting.mhowever the type in this edition is so small you need a magnifying glass to read it.Published 6 months ago by Lynn Saunders
Excellent book, particularly if you live in the this area of Florida. She does a wonderful job of describing the area and the people in it. Quite an enjoyable read.Published 11 months ago by Joe Swails
I haven't finished it yet but so far, it is interesting and informative. Am learning so much about the author and the area in which the book takes place. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Sharon Roberts