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A tree grows in Brooklyn [sound recording]
Betty Smith
Adult Fiction SMITH

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Betty Smith, December 15, 1896 - January 17, 1972 Betty Smith was born December 15, 1896, in Brooklyn, New York. She attended grammar school in Brooklyn, completing only the eighth grade. After leaving school at the age of fourteen, she worked in a factory, in retail and clerical jobs in New York City and eventually became a reader and editor for Dramatists Play Service, as well as an actress and playwright for the Federal Theater project and a radio actress. She attended the University of Michigan, from 1927 to 1930, as a special student. While attending the University of Michigan, some of her one-act plays were published, and she also worked as a feature writer for NEA (a newspaper syndicate) and wrote columns for the Detroit Free Press. She went on to Yale University Drama School, from 1930 to 1934. Smith became a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1945 till 1946. She was a member of the Authors League and the Dramatists Guild. Smith is perhaps best known for her work "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," which became an overnight success for the first time writer. She won the Avery and Jule Hopwood first prize of $1,000 in 1931; the Rockefeller fellowship in playwriting and Rockefeller Dramatists Guild playwriting fellowship while at Yale and the Sir Walter Raleigh award for fiction in 1958, for "Maggie--Now." Betty Smith died on January 17, 1972. (Bowker Author Biography)

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main characters Francie Nolan
Female
Catholic
Sensitive; dreamer; loves to sit by the tree growing in her courtyard; watches her family struggle with money; father was a hard drinker who passed away when she was 14; determined to succeed in life.
Student

Neelie Nolan
Male
Francie's brother.
Student

Katie Nolan
Female
Married
Works hard to support her family; in love with her husband though he is a heavy drinker; knows her daughter will succeed; loves her son more than her daughter; proud woman.
Janitor

Johnny Nolan
Male
Married
Katie's husband; drinks heavily; dreamer; tries to bring money in for his family.
Waiter



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