September 16, 2010
Food in Hoosier Literature and Poetry: Booth Tarkington
Food in Hoosier Literature and Poetry: Booth Tarkington

(Photo by cwbuecheler)

Booth Tarkington(1869-1946) – A native of Indianapolis, Tarkington was an American novelist and dramatist who set many of his works in Indiana and the Midwest.  Of his dozens of works, he is best known for The Magnificent Ambersons (1918), which Orson Welles filmed in 1942, and the Penrod stories. 

The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) – Set in the early 1900s in the American Midwest, this Pulitzer Prize winning novel focuses on the rise and fall of the Amberson family.  The author focuses on the inevitability of urban sprawl and how the automobile and factories have destroyed community, cleanliness, and all that makes life worthwhile. 

When they went down to the dining room, he pronounced acceptable the salmon salad, cold beef, cheese, and cake which Fanny made ready for them without disturbing the servants. The journey had fatigued Isabel, she ate nothing, but sat to observe with tired pleasure the manifestations of her son’s appetite, meanwhile giving her sister-in-law a brief summary of the events of commencement. But presently she kissed them both good-night—taking care to kiss George lightly upon the side of his head, so as not to disturb his eating—and left aunt and nephew alone together. (pg. 224)

        The Magnificent Ambersons (New York:  Doubleday and Company,1918)

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