Harriette Arnow

Harriette Arnow (1908–1986) was an American novelist, who is known for her works of fiction that depict the struggles of rural life in the Appalachian region. She is best known for her critically acclaimed novel 'The Dollmaker,' which tells the story of a Kentucky family forced to move to Detroit during World War II. Arnow's writing is celebrated for its depth of characterization and its exploration of themes such as poverty, gender roles, and the clash between traditional and industrial societies.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Dollmaker

    The novel follows the story of Gertie Nevels, a strong-willed and talented woman from the Kentucky hills, who is uprooted from her rural home when her husband finds work in Detroit during World War II. As a skilled woodcarver and a devoted mother, Gertie struggles to maintain her family's Appalachian values and way of life amidst the harsh realities of urban industrial society. Her dream of buying back her family's homestead is challenged by the demands of her new environment, leading to a poignant exploration of identity, resilience, and the clash between rural and urban cultures during a time of societal change.

    The 3462nd Greatest Book of All Time