She Come By It Natural

Sarah Smarsh


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Pushkin Press
19 January 2021
ISBN: 9781911590514
208 pages

From the publisher

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE The world can't seem to get enough of Dolly Parton. Her image is blazoned across T-shirts, she burns on desks as blasphemous candles, and well into her seventies she continues to grace awards stages, arenas and talk shows where women of a certain age are rarely seen. Yet not so long ago, Dolly was best known by many people as the punch line of a boob joke. So, what happened? In this affectionate, sharply insightful book, Sarah Smarsh charts Dolly's meteoric rise against the backdrop of her working-class roots. Drawing on her own experience growing up in rural Kansas, Smarsh crafts a resonant portrait of Parton's cultural importance, above all for the often-unheard women who populate her songs: struggling mothers, pregnant teenagers, diner waitresses with deadbeat boyfriends. Candid, intimate and searching, She Come By It Natural captures the enduring appeal of this singular star.