1993; The Reader's Digest Association publishers, New York, Montreal; includes original Reader's Digest flyer; illustrations by Edward Shenton; afterword by Thomas DePietro; hardbound with ivory and green boards and gilt lettering and decor; no dust jacket.
The Yearling is a novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings published in March 1938. It was the main selection of the Book of the Month Club in April 1938. It was the the best-selling novel in America in 1938 and the seventh-best in 1939. It sold over 250,000 copies in 1938. It has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Russian and 22 other languages. It won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel.
Rawlings's editor was Maxwell Perkins, who also worked with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and other literary luminaries. She had submitted several projects to Perkins for his review, and he rejected them all. He advised her to write about what she knew from her own life, and The Yearling was the result.
Young Jody Baxter lives with his parents, Ora and Ezra "Penny" Baxter, in the animal-filled central Florida backwoods in the 1870s. His parents had six other children before him, but they died in infancy, which makes it difficult for his mother to bond with him. Jody loves the outdoors and his family. He has wanted a pet for as long as he can remember, but his mother says that they barely have enough food to feed themselves, let alone a pet.
A subplot involves the hunt for an old bear named Slewfoot that randomly attacks the Baxter livestock. Later the Baxters and the Forresters get in a fight about the bear and continue to fight about nearly anything. (While the Forresters are presented as a disreputable clan, the disabled youngest brother, Fodder-Wing, is a close friend to Jody.) The Forresters steal the Baxters' hogs and, while Penny and Jody are out searching for the stolen stock, Penny is bitten in the arm by a rattlesnake. Penny shoots a doe, orphaning its young fawn, in order to use its liver to draw out the snake's venom, which saves Penny's life.
Jody convinces his parents to allow him to adopt the fawn...