Ohioana Authors list     
Fannie Hurst Ohioana Authors

"I wrote all day from loneliness, and all evening for the same reason."

"I'm not happy when I'm writing, but I'm more unhappy when I'm not."

-- Fannie Hurst

"She is basically a fairly corny artist. We all know people who can write beautifully and can't tell a story worth a damn. She is really a wonderful story teller."

-- Kenneth McCormack, Hurst's editor at Doubleday & Co., 1958-1964

Hamilton, Ohio-born Fannie Hurst was a prolific writer and best-selling novelist for more than 40 years.

At age 21, she went to New York to gain experience for writing "the way Dickens did." Throughout her life, Hurst was equally at ease with celebrities as with people in emotional crises, and it was from these experiences that she fashioned the stories for her 18 novels and eight volumes of short stories.

Her literature tells the stories of society's misfits and the struggles of common people. Her lamenting style and underdog characters, however, earned her the nomenclature "Queen of the Sob Sisters of American letters" by literary critics.

Hurst produced nearly a title a year in the 1920s and wrote until her death in 1968. As one of America's highest-paid writers of her time, she contributed generously to a variety of social causes and fostered college-level creative writing programs. Accenting her career as a novelist, Hurst also found success as a playwright, screenwriter, television personality, lecturer and activist.

photo credit Lotte Neustein, 1958

Music on the Show

Artist: Windscape
CD Title: The Roaring 20s
Song: "Moritat vom Mackie Messer" (Ballad of Mack the Knife) from "The Threepenny Opera," by Kurt Weill
Label & Year: Arabesque, 1999

Listen to the NPR 820 radio feature. (MP3 - 2.7M)

top of page