Sarah Smarsh & John Freeman

What: Watermark Books & Café invites you to attend a virtual event with bestselling author, Sarah Smarsh. Sarah will be joining us for a virtual discussion in celebration of the paperback release of She Come by it Natural—an analysis of how Dolly Parton’s songs—and success—have embodied feminism for working-class women. Sarah will be joined in conversation with John Freeman, editor of Freeman’s, a literary annual of new writing, and executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf.


When: Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. (CT)

Where: This is a virtual event and will be hosted online using Zoom Pro Webinar & Facebook Live.

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About She Come By It Natural


Growing up amid Kansas wheat fields and airplane factories, Sarah Smarsh witnessed firsthand the particular vulnerabilities—and strengths—of women in working poverty. Meanwhile, country songs by female artists played in the background, telling powerful stories about life, men, hard times, and surviving. In her family, she writes, “country music was foremost a language among women. It’s how we talked to each other in a place where feelings aren’t discussed.” And no one provided that language better than Dolly Parton.

In this “tribute to the woman who continues to demonstrate that feminism comes in coats of many colors,” Smarsh tells readers how Parton’s songs have validated women who go unheard: the poor woman, the pregnant teenager, the struggling mother disparaged as “trailer trash.” Parton’s broader career—from singing on the front porch of her family’s cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains to achieving stardom in Nashville and Hollywood, from “girl singer” managed by powerful men to self-made mogul of business and philanthropy—offers a springboard to examining the intersections of gender, class, and culture

About Sarah Smarsh


Sarah Smarsh is a journalist who has reported for The New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications. Her first book, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, was a finalist for the National Book Award. A 2018 research fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Smarsh is a frequent speaker and commentator on economic inequality. She lives in Kansas.

About John Freeman


John Freeman is the editor of Freeman’s, a literary annual of new writing, and executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf. His books include How to Read a Novelist and Dictionary of the Undoing, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology about income inequality in America, and Tales of Two Planets, an anthology of new writing about inequality and the climate crisis globally. He is also the author of two poetry collections, Maps and The Park. His work is translated into more than twenty languages, and has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta, he teaches writing at New York University.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
4701 E Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS 67218
Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781982157296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 7th, 2021