State Fair
by Phil Stong
foreword by Robert A. McCown
University of Iowa Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-87745-569-1
Library of Congress Classification PS3537.T6894S7 1996
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.52


 First published in the spring of 1932, Phil Strong's whimsical and wise State Fair was an immediate success. Hollywood released a film that fall starring Will Rogers as Abel Frake and a champion hog from an Iowa farm as the famous Blue Boy, “the finest Hampshire stud boar in the world.” In 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical motion picture launched such memorable songs as “It Might as Well Be Spring.” In 1962 a movie musical with Pat Boone and Ann-Margret was set at the Texas State Fair. And in 1995 a highly entertaining adaptation of the 1945 musical premiered at the Iowa State Fair before moving on to Broadway. This paperback edition of State Fair, with a new foreword by Robert McCown, reprints the original novel in all it exuberance and freshness. On the surface State Fair simply recounts the adventures of the close-knit Frake family at the Iowa State Fair in the late 1920s, but Strong's universal morality tale has much to reveal to anyone willing to read between the lines. The book shocked some readers in 1932, but most were captivated by the Frakes' good-natured integrity and applauded their spirit. Readers today will find the same joy, liveliness, and insight in this new edition ofState Fair.

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