Zona Gale

Zona Gale

American regional novelist

Novelist, playwright, and short-story writer Zona Gale (1874-1938) successfully used her background and experiences in small-town Wisconsin to gain national acclaim. Gale was one of few fiction writers of her time to write contemporary stories emphasizing local color, customs and the depiction of ordinary people. No matter if she called it Friendship Village, Prospect or something else, Portage, Wisconsin, her hometown, was the setting and inspiration for nearly all of her work. Gale became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1921.

Zona Gale was born in Portage, Wisconsin, on August 26, 1874, and, with the exception of a brief time in Minnesota, lived there until
she entered the University of Wisconsin. After college Gale spent six years as a journalist in Milwaukee and New York. A visit to Portage in 1903 proved a turning point in her literary life, as seeing the sights and sounds of town life led her to comment that her "old world was full of new possibilities." Gale had found the material she needed for her writing, and returned to Portage in 1904 to concentrate full time on fiction.
Zola, a long-standing friend of Claude Bragdon, had been interested in things theosophical for most of her writing career. She had delved into Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum and as soon as she heard from Bragdon of Orage’s arrival in New York, she joined the army of those anticipating Gurdjieff.
Zola wrote a description for Times of the Institute and demonstrations it concluded: “The Asiatic dances presented are very beautiful, there these are only an introduction to the technique developed by Mr. Gurdjieff whose Institute, now established in the chief European cities, may in another year have be American branch”.
Gale continued writing and publishing until her death in December 1938.

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