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Betty Smith (1) (1896–1972)

Autor(a) de A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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11+ Works 18,256 Membros 476 Críticas 35 Favorited

About the Author

Betty Smith, December 15, 1896 - January 17, 1972 Betty Smith was born December 15, 1896, in Brooklyn, New York. She attended grammar school in Brooklyn, completing only the eighth grade. After leaving school at the age of fourteen, she worked in a factory, in retail and clerical jobs in New York mostrar mais City and eventually became a reader and editor for Dramatists Play Service, as well as an actress and playwright for the Federal Theater project and a radio actress. She attended the University of Michigan, from 1927 to 1930, as a special student. While attending the University of Michigan, some of her one-act plays were published, and she also worked as a feature writer for NEA (a newspaper syndicate) and wrote columns for the Detroit Free Press. She went on to Yale University Drama School, from 1930 to 1934. Smith became a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1945 till 1946. She was a member of the Authors League and the Dramatists Guild. Smith is perhaps best known for her work "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," which became an overnight success for the first time writer. She won the Avery and Jule Hopwood first prize of $1,000 in 1931; the Rockefeller fellowship in playwriting and Rockefeller Dramatists Guild playwriting fellowship while at Yale and the Sir Walter Raleigh award for fiction in 1958, for "Maggie--Now." Betty Smith died on January 17, 1972. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras por Betty Smith

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Smith, Betty Wehner
Wehner, Elisabeth Lillian (born)
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Localização do túmulo
Legion Street Cemetery, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Local de nascimento
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Local de falecimento
Shelton, Connecticut, USA
Locais de residência
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Yale School of Drama
Prémios e menções honrosas
Rockefeller Fellowship (1940)

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Betty Smith was born Elizabeth (or Elisabeth) Wehner in Brooklyn, New York, to parents who were German immigrants. She attended school until age 14, when she was obliged to go to work to help support the family. She worked at a succession of jobs, including making tissue flowers at a factory and at a press clipping bureau. In 1919, she married George Smith, a fellow German-American, and moved with him to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he went to law school at the University of Michigan. The couple had two children and Betty waited until they were in school to complete her higher education. Although she had not finished high school, in 1927 she was permitted to enroll in classes, and studied journalism, literature, writing, and drama.
She attended the Yale University School of Drama from 1931 to 1934, and had two one-act plays produced in 1932. In 1938, she and her first husband divorced, and she moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She remarried to Joseph Jones, a newspaper columnist, in 1943, the same year in which she published A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, her highly autobiographical novel. It was a runaway bestseller. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was adapted into a famous 1945 film and several television versions, and has proven to be her most enduring work. She went on to become a well-known playwright, receiving many awards and fellowships. Her other novels include Tomorrow Will Be Better (1947), Maggie-Now (1958) and Joy in the Morning (1963).



A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Group Read (August 1, 2012) em 75 Books Challenge for 2012 (Agosto 2012)


As compelling a read as the first time I read it as a 13 year old girl half a century ago. Beautiful period piece that has stood up well through the passage of time.
bschweiger | 434 outras críticas | Feb 4, 2024 |
Story of a family living in early 1900?s in Brooklyn in poverty conditions and they survived.
bentstoker | 434 outras críticas | Jan 26, 2024 |
i know this isn't a popular opinion, but this book is very much just okay for me. i thought maybe i'd like this better this time around, but i feel pretty much the same about it as the first time i read it over a decade ago. i really liked the first 70 or so pages. the next 50 were alright. the almost 250 after that a real slog where it felt like a collection of little stories she was trying to make work together as a whole; like she was stuffing together a bunch of vignettes that were supposed to be a cohesive story. and they fit together, but the writing was stiff and uninteresting and the stories themselves felt overdone. then it suddenly became more readable again, and i liked the last 75 or so pages.

"After Election, the politicians forgot their promises and enjoyed an earned rest until New Year, when they started work on the next Election."

i like her point, i like her message (except for some things toward the end that i wasn't totally on board with), i like the light she was shining on poverty and a way of life that was not supposed to be written about. it's just overly long and not the best book of its kind that tells this story. (1.5 stars)

from sept 2011: not particularly well written, but tells a clear picture of life in a certain time and place, for the poorer part of society. (2 stars)
… (mais)
overlycriticalelisa | 434 outras críticas | Jan 22, 2024 |
I somehow missed reading this book back when i was a teenager. In fact, i had never heard of it until recently. But i will definitely be recommending it to my daughter - and any other teenaged girls. Or any other grown-up girls who can appreciate coming-of-age-type books.
karenhmoore | 434 outras críticas | Jan 1, 2024 |


1970s (1)
AP Lit (1)
1940s (1)


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