"She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs"

Oct 22, 2020

We welcome Sarah Smarsh back to StudioTulsa for a discussion of her new book. It's a collection of essays that all focus on a certain country-music icon who also happens to be one of the most unifying figures in American culture: Dolly Parton. Smarsh talks with us about how Parton has, for decades now, both embodied and emboldened American women who live and work in poverty. Few other musical artists, the author argues, seem as truly **genuine** as Parton, and few can match her gift for telling powerful stories about life, love, men, family, hard times, and surviving. As per The Washington Post: "As she did in her 2018 memoir, 'Heartland,' Smarsh offers a feminist take on America's rural working-class women who eschew the term 'feminism.' The author looks at how songs by Dolly Parton and other country-music performers illuminate stories of women who might otherwise be overlooked: tired waiters, pregnant teenagers, spurned wives, loyal daughters."