Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Literary Arts Series
Issue Date: February 21, 2008
City: Hawthorne, FL
Popular children’s author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was born on August 8, 1896, in Washington, D.C. Marjorie began writing when she was six years old. She won her first award in 1907 for a short story that was published in the Washington Post. The contest’s youngest winner in history, Marjorie continued to win writing contests for much of her adolescence.
In 1914, following the death of her father, Marjorie moved to Madison, Wisconsin, with her mother and younger brother. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1918, she married fellow writer Charles Rawlings and moved to New York, where they both worked as journalists.
In 1928, the couple moved to an orange grove named Cross Creek, near Hawthorne, Florida. It was in this quiet, rural setting that Marjorie found inspiration for some of her most famous works. Over the next ten years, she wrote a number of award-winning stories and books, such as “Gal Young Un,” in 1932, and “South Moon Under,” in 1933. Each of these stories explored the human desire to function in harmony with nature.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Yearling” was a 1938 best-seller that garnered her national acclaim. It was Marjorie’s poetic telling of a story about a young boy dealing with the loss of his pet deer that has helped the work sustain great popularity for about 70 years now.