Roast Beef, Medium

Roast Beef, Medium : The Business Adventures of Emma Mcchesney

3.86 (166 ratings by Goodreads)
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Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Show Boat and Giant", achieved her first great success with a series of stories she published in "American" Magazine between 1911 and 1913. The stories featured Emma McChesney: smart, savvy, stylish, divorced mother, and Midwest traveling sales representative for T. A. Buck's Featherloom skirts and petticoats. With one hand on her sample case and the other fending off advances from salesmen, hotel clerks, and other predators, Emma holds on tightly to her reputation: honest, hardworking, and able to outsell the slickest salesman. Like her compact bag of traveling necessities, Emma has her life boiled down to essentials: her work and her seventeen-year-old son, Jock. Her experience has taught her that it's best to stick to roast beef, medium - avoiding both physical and moral indigestion - rather than experiment with fancy sauces and exotic dishes. Yet she never shies away from a challenge, and her sharp instincts and common sense serve her well in dealing with the likes of Ed Meyer, a smooth-talking, piano-playing salesman; Blanche LeHay, prima donna of the Sam Levin Crackerjack Belles; and T. A. Buck Jr., the wet-behind-the-ears son of the founder of Featherloom. "Roast Beef, Medium" is the first of three volumes chronicling the travels and trials of Emma McChesney. The illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg, one of the most highly regarded book illustrators of the period, enhance both the humor and the vivid characterization in this wise and high-spirited more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 140 x 190 x 31.75mm | 454g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252026454
  • 9780252026454

Review quote

"A brave, fun-loving, human book, the best that Miss Ferber has yet given us." -- New York Times Listed as a "classic return" by Library Journal "Everyone should read Edna Ferber ... and why not start with this engaging tale of a stylish Midwestern traveling saleswoman? Originally published in 1913, this story captures the humor and talent for social observation that characterized Ferber's work." -- Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune Handy brief description for both Roast Beef and Fanny Herself: "Ferber (1887-1968) may have been famous for So Big and Showboat, but these welcome and attractive reissues confirm wider abilities. Roast Beef, Medium is a series of stories (a sucess when first published) featuring Emma McChesney, a robust, savvy, divorced mother and travelling saleswoman for T. A. Buck's Featherloom skirts and petticoats. Emma's adventures, many of them fending off the advances of lustful men, are both optimistic and redolent of the age. Fanny Herself is an honest and surprisingly perceptive account of a young girl growing up ambivalently Jewish in a midwestern town." -- Toronto Globe and Mailshow more

Table of contents

Roast beef, medium -- Representing T. A. Buck -- Chickens -- His mother's son -- Pink tights and ginghams -- Simply skirts -- Underneath the high-cut vest -- Catching up with Christmas -- Knee-deep in knickers -- In the absence of the more

Rating details

166 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 29% (48)
4 39% (65)
3 23% (39)
2 6% (10)
1 2% (4)
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