By Ruth Suckow
A dozen tales describe the lives of people who locate energy of their desires, and thoughts of small-town childhoods.
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And here she was, well along in the twenties, with nearly all the other girls in the crowd settled, and she still living in two rented rooms at Mrs. Calverton's! Sometimes it seemed as if her whole scheme of life were going astray. But when she entered her room, with its waiting orderliness of cushions and reading lamp and cigarette trays placed here and there, the dreariness vanished. Her impatience sternly curbed itself. Mrs. Calverton was used to the whole thing. The Doctor could come, and she let them alone.
But when she sent Mencken and Nathan the longer novel, Country People, they said it was too long and persuaded their financial backer, Alfred A. Knopf, to publish it in book form. In all, Suckow was to publish eight novels, three volumes of short fiction, two anthologies of miscellaneous work, and numerous uncollected essays, short stories, and reviews. Her books were all published by major American publishers. A few were reprinted in foreign editions. A Part of the Institution is "the best of the lot" of the short novels.
In Hester Harris, a girl who has grown up in Adamsville, and whose constant girlhood prayer has been to go to Adams and be taken into the Elizabeth Barrett Browning society, Suckow has created an original fictional portrait. In Jinny, one Page xii of three persons whose relationships with Hester last through the years, Suckow, while not creating an original type, as she admitted in a 1928 essay entitled "Literary Soubrettes," has created the prototype of those bohemian girls who are characters in The Odyssey of a Nice Girl (1925), in The Kramer Girls (1930), and in The Folks (1934): She is not the princess of the fairy tale.