Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Roast Beef, Medium" by Edna Ferber. (1913 an early short story by Pulitzer Prize Winning writer of Show Boat and So Big

Edna Ferber (1885 to 1968, winner of the Pultizer Prize in 1924 for Show Boat got her literary start with a series of short stories centering on Emma McChesney, a traveling saleslady specializing in petticoats with a very independent with it kind of "with it" attitude.  Traveling sales ladies were rare in 1913 and Emma has heard more than her share of propositions and such in her years on the road.  

The story starts out in the dining room of hotel.  Emma orders a solidly predictable meal, Roast Beef Medium.  A man much younger than Emma also dining at the hotel, most of the guests are traveling sales men, once a big part of American retail, younger by decades than Emma strikes up a conversation with Emma.  Now Emma is a lady but life on the road can get lonely so she agrees to go for a walk with him.  The best part of the story were Emma's comments about life.

There is an interesting moral in this story, the title tells it.

I liked this story and am glad I read "Roast Beef, Medium".

I read this in this well done anthology.

Mel u


Melissa B. said...

This was one of my favorite stories in the anthology as well. Nice review!

Mel u said...

Melissa, thanks for the comment. I now follow your blog and am looking forward to seeing your blog develop.