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Fannie Hurst (October 18, 1889 – February 23, 1968) was an American novelist. Although her books are not well remembered today, during her lifetime some of her more famous novels were Stardust (1919), Lummox (1923), A President is Born (1927), Back Street (1931), and Imitation of Life (1933). Hurst is now best known for the screen adaptations of her works, such as the 1934 film Imitation of Life and the 1959 remake, based on her novel, which examined race relations.
Hurst was born in Hamilton, Ohio, the only surviving child of a well-to-do Jewish family. She spent the first twenty years of her life in St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended Washington University in St. Louis and graduated in 1909. In 1915 she married Jacques S. Danielson of New York, a pianist, but the marriage was not announced until five years later.
In 1921, Hurst was among the first to join the Lucy Stone League, an organization that fought for women to preserve their maiden names. She was active in the Urban League, and was appointed to the National Advisory Committee to the Works Progress Administration in 1940. She was also a delegate to the World Health Organization in 1952.
When Hurst and Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson were having a long affair, they often met in New York City's Greenwich Village at Romany Marie's café when Stefansson was in town; he was a regular there for many years and a good friend of the proprietor.
Hurst hosted a talk show out of New York called Showcase beginning in 1958. Showcase was notable for presenting several of the earliest well-rounded discussions of homosexuality and was one of the few on which homosexual men spoke for themselves rather than being debated by a panel of "experts". Hurst was praised by early homophile group the Mattachine Society which invited Hurst to deliver the keynote address at the Society's 1958 convention.
References in popular culture
- "Hope for the best, expect the worst.
- You could be Tolstoy or Fannie Hurst."
- She is referred to in the song "You're so London" by Mike Nichols and Ken Welch, written for the show Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall (1962).
- "You're so kippers, you're so caviar and I'm so liverwurst.
- You're so Shakespeare, so Bernard Shaw and I'm so Fannie Hurst."
- Just Around the Corner (1914)
- Every Soul Hath Its Song (1916)
- Gaslight Sonatas (1918)
- Humoresque (1919)
- The Vertical City (1922)
- Song of Life (Knopf, 1927)
- Procession (1929)
- We are Ten (1937)
- Stardust: The Story of an American Girl (1921)
- Lummox (1923)
- Mannequin (Knopf, 1926)
- Appassionata (Knopf 1926)
- A President is Born (1928)
- Five and Ten (1929)
- Back Street (1931)
- Imitation of Life (1933)
- Anitra's Dance (1934)
- Great Laughter (1936)
- Lonely Parade (1942)
- Hallelujah (1944)
- The Hands of Veronica (1947)
- Anywoman (1950)
- The Man with One Head (1951)
- Family! (1960)
- God Must Be Sad (1961)
- Fool, Be Still (1964)
- Anatomy of Me: A Wonderer in Search of Herself (1958)
- Symphony of Six Million (1932 movie), story
- No Food with My Meals (1935)
- White Christmas (1942)
- West, Kathryn (2004). "Fannie Hurst". In Wintz, Cary D. Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. 1: A-J. Finkelman, Paul. New York and Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 596–597. ISBN 1-57958-389-X. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
- Fannie Hurst. Anatomy of Me: A Wonderer in Search of Herself (p. 219). New York: Doubleday, 1958. ISBN 0-405-12843-6.
- Gísli Pálsson. Travelling Passions: The Hidden Life Of Vilhjalmur Stefansson (pp. 187, 195). Lebanon: University Press of New England, 2005. ISBN 1-58465-510-0.
- Robert Shulman. Romany Marie: The Queen of Greenwich Village (p. 144). Louisville: Butler Books, 2006. ISBN 1-884532-74-8.
- "Yakety-Yak". TIME magazine. 1959-04-06. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- Tropiano, pp. 4–5
- Capsuto, Steven. "Kudos! AGLA's and GLAAD's Gay and Lesbian Media Awards". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- This Side of Paradise. 1920
- Tropiano, Stephen (2002). The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV. New York, Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. ISBN 1-55783-557-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fannie Hurst.|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1921 Collier's Encyclopedia article about Fannie Hurst.|
- Fannie Hurst at the Internet Movie Database
- Fannie Hurst at the Internet Broadway Database
- The Fannie Hurst Papers at Washington University in St. Louis
- The Fannie Hurst Collection at Brandeis University
- Works by Fannie Hurst at Project Gutenberg
- Fannie Hurst, Women's History Profile at About.com