The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

October 25, 2013

October 25, 1967

Margaret Ayer Barnes (April 8, 1886, to October 25, 1967) was born in Chicago, and went to Bryn Mawr, as girls from her protected class still do. She married and had three sons. The story is that she took up writing as a way to pass the time when she was recovering from an illness. This I doubt, but that is the story. 

Her first novel, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction; Years of Grace (1930) deals with the life of a Chicago socialite. Her second novel , Within This Present (1933) has an passage describing a woman who 

loved her job, she loved her flat, she loved her cat and her parrot. She had bought them both in a burst of sardonic humor, to establish her official status as an old maid. She had a colored girl who came in by the day to keep them company while she was at the office. 

All her novels deal with aspects of womanhood.  1935's Edna His Wife for instance is described as depicting "the unhappiness of a simple, unsophisticated woman who gains every material advantage but fails to find happiness as a wife and mother."

As is most often the case with fiction, the real story is the author, not the product, I would venture. 

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