- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: University of Washington Press (September 30, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0295999365
- ISBN-13: 978-0295999364
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I Hardcover – September 30, 2016
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The Egg and I, The Plague and I and Anybody Can Do Anything practically cavort off the page. How did [Betty MacDonald] do it? Seattle author Paula Becker has some answers in her compact, finely crafted biography.--Michael Upchurch"Seattle Times" (01/01/2016)
Paula Becker's astute, affectionate and often startling Looking for Betty MacDonald is the first biography of this singular American writer. . . . The biography fills in crucial and sometimes shocking gaps in her story, rendering MacDonald's achievements all the more extraordinary. . . . Becker is a historian and writes with a historian's precision, but she has a fan's insight and warmth. The result is a thorough and illuminating biography that, with any luck, will lead a new generation of readers to MacDonald's own remarkable work.--Jennifer Reese"Washington Post" (01/01/2016)
A smart and immensely readable portrait, taking readers through MacDonald's life. . . . Becker has combed every interview and profile, and her book veritably glows with MacDonald's recaptured wit. . . . Thanks to Paula Becker's exhaustive research and the compassionate, standard-setting book she's shaped out of it, 21st century readers can meet a much fuller and more fascinating version of that complex, challenging, laughing woman. Readers of her books will still want to thank her, but thanks to Looking for Betty MacDonald, they'll know her much better.--Steve Donoghue"Open Letters Monthly" (01/01/2016)
The pages zing with unexpected detail and nuggets of lacerating wit. . . . If you're Looking for Betty MacDonald, you need look no further.--Barbara McMichael"Kitsap Sun" (01/01/2016)
I was delighted to explore MacDonald's life and work through Paula Becker's thoughtful, painstakingly researched biography, and even more thrilled to see that University of Washington Press is going to be reprinting three hard-to-find later works by the bestselling author of The Egg and I Anybody Can Do Anything, The Plague and I, and Onions in the Stew. . . . If you're not a MacDonald enthusiast, you will be soon. . . . We can be grateful that Becker has preserved it for us in words, and has given us valuable insights into her world, her books, her family, and the writer herself.--Lory Widmer Hess"Emerald City Book Review" (01/01/2016)
"A passionate, wise and tender exploration of a surprisingly compelling life. Becker's fascination for her subject is utterly contagious: I found myself late-night Googling Betty, determined to track down everything she ever wrote!"―Julie Myerson, author of The Stopped Heart: A Novel
"Thank goodness Paula Becker has resurrected the life story of Betty MacDonald, perhaps the only author who has ever made tuberculosis funny. Carefully researched and written with great warmth and spirit, Looking for Betty MacDonald reintroduces readers to a woman who may have been America's wittiest writer in the mid-twentieth century. We tend to think of observational comedy as a modern phenomenon, but it may have begun over 75 years ago on a chicken farm in Washington State."―Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD, author of Contagion and Confinement: Controlling Tuberculosis along the Skid Road
"Readers of Betty MacDonald love her for her pluck and clear-eyed wit. Now Paula Becker presents the writer's brief but exuberant life in this timely and heartfelt biography. As she presses her palms to the polished wood floor of Betty's former home, I felt the melting joy and melancholy of the true soulmate."―George Meyer, writer for The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live
"A huge hit in her day, Betty MacDonald was too funny and too popular (and maybe too female) to be taken seriously. Paula Becker's Looking for Betty MacDonald―part biography, part literary criticism, part memoir―does a cracking job of rehabilitating this sparkling writer's reputation. There are those of us who have been true believers all along, poring over MacDonald's four hilarious and beautifully detailed memoirs of mid-century Northwest domestic life. Becker's book rounds out the picture, weaving the darker strands of the author's life story into a nuanced whole. "―Claire Dederer, author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I especially appreciated the sensitive way Becker balanced telling the truth without compromising the privacy or dignity of surviving members of Betty MacDonald's family -- or of Betty herself, whose real life was of course far more complex and sometimes dark than her humorous memoirs reveal. Becker's research was prodigious: she uncovered extensive archival materials from a plethora of sources -- including letters and papers from MacDonald's friends and family that had never been made public until now. And she traveled to every place Betty lived from her birth onward; she visited Betty's former homes, the buildings where her father worked, her schools, the streets and paths she and her family would have followed.
What a vivid portrait Becker paints for us: of MacDonald's fascinating life, and also of the times and places in which she lived, especially Seattle in the 1920s through the years of World War II. I highly recommend it!
But "who" was Betty MacDonald? Careful readers of her non-fiction can pick up clues about her family - the Bards - and her daughters - Anne and Joan - and her second husband - Donald C MacDonald, but was the happy-go-lucky woman portrayed in her books the real Betty MacDonald? Paula Becker was entranced with Betty and set out to "look" for her. She visited a house in Seattle that Betty and her family lived in during the Depression-years, when Betty - a divorcee with two small daughters - was joining with her family to keep their collective heads above water. From there, Becker decided to write a biography of Betty MacDonald, and has done a pretty good job of it. She has been fortunate to have had access to private correspondence from Betty, both to family and friends and to her editor, Bernice Baumgarten. Becker writes the story of Betty's life from Butte, Boulder, Mexico City, and, lastly, to Carmel, where Betty and Don retired to after the success of the books. But mostly, Becker traces MacDonald's life in the state she made famous - Washington.
Paula Becker's book, "Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs Piggle-Wiggle, and I", is an interesting view of all the places MacDonald called home, from the egg farm on the Washington Peninsula, various places in Seattle, Vashon Island, and Firland, a TB sanitarium, where Betty recovered from TB. Becker talks about the Bard family and its quixotic way of dealing with life, as well as Bob Heskett and Don MacDonald, Betty's two husbands. Not left out are the various law suits derived from the characters in "The Egg and I" and Betty and Don's somewhat lackadaisical approach to handling money. All in all, Becker's biography of Betty MacDonald is well-done and also has a good selection of pictures of Betty and her family.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have now listened to all of the ‘Betty‘ audio books and it’s fair to say I have been thoroughly entertained and enthralled.Read more