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McKenney, Ruth (18 November 1911–25 July 1972), humorist and political novelist, was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, the daughter of John Sidney McKenney, a factory manager, and Marguerite Flynn, a public school teacher and Irish nationalist who influenced Ruth toward radical politics. She died when Ruth was eight. McKenney grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. At the age of fourteen she began working on the ...

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Putnam, Nina Wilcox (28 November 1888–08 March 1962), novelist and humorist, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Marrion Wilcox, an editor and author, and Eleanor Patricia Sanchez, an art dealer. Putnam’s early childhood was spent in England. When she was six years of age, the family returned to Connecticut. Except for a few months spent in a private school that she detested, she was educated at home and was mostly self-taught. She learned to read and write using Stevenson’s ...

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Opie Percival Read. In Portland, Ore., middle of the first half of the twentieth century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105142).

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Read, Opie Percival (22 December 1852–02 November 1939), novelist and humorist, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Guilford Read, a carriage manufacturer, and Elizabeth Wallace. Read enjoyed a peaceful, comfortable childhood, dividing his time between attending school and helping out in the fields. While Read was still quite young, his father moved the family to Gallatin, Tennessee, a small town northeast of Nashville....