C H I C A G O

T R I B U T E

 

 

 

Home

List of markers

Location map

Nominations

Contact

Acknowledgments

 

 

Markers of Distinction

Edna Ferber
1885–1968
Novelist

Edna Ferber was a prolific novelist whose books
romanticized the unsung heroes of the Midwest and
featured independent working women. Many of her
novels were made into plays and films, including
Showboat, Cimarron and Giant.

Born in Michigan and raised in Wisconsin, Ferber
moved to Chicago in 1910 to be a journalist at the
Chicago Tribune. She resided in the
Windemere Hotel, formerly at 1642 East 56th Street.

Ferber gained national attention for her series of Emma
McChesneystories, about a traveling petticoat saleswoman. Works like Buttered
Side Down
and Fanny Herself depicted strong middle-class women in
Chicago. So Big, a novel about a woman raising a child on a truck farm
outside Chicago, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1924.

By the mid-1920s, Ferber had settled in New York where she became a
successful playwright, collaborating with George S. Kaufman on such
plays as Dinner at Eight (1932). Her most famous work, Showboat
(1926), about a girl’s life on a Mississippi riverboat, was made into a
Broadway musical and three motion pictures.