Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.95
Used Hardcover
Usually ships in 5 to 7 business days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse General- General

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less

by

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less Cover

 

Staff Pick

Evelyn Ryan's family may have been one of the poorest in town, but her children did not go without the occasional taste of well-earned luxury. Their mother entered every contest imaginable (there were plenty in the '50s and '60s) and won everything from candy bars and basketballs to a trip to Switzerland and a down payment on the family's house. Terry Ryan ? poet, collaborating author of the long-running T. O. Sylvester cartoon, and sixth in Evelyn's brood ? offers this utterly heartwarming memoir about her mother's knack for keeping the family in shoes and in stitches when basic necessities and laughter would have otherwise been scarce. Ryan's memoir reveals as much about American consumers' relationship with postwar marketing as it does about her mother's wit and resourcefulness. Evelyn's jingles, crafted at the ironing board, made it into magazines, roadside Burma Shave signs, and ad campaigns all over the country. Her determination to share with her family every taste and experience that Privilege would never have deigned to grant them is deftly portrayed in this exhilarating tribute to spirit.
Recommended by Malia, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio introduces Evelyn Ryan, an enterprising woman who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the 1950s and 1960s.

Stepping back into a time when fledgling advertising agencies were active partners with consumers, and everyday people saw possibility in every coupon, Terry Ryan tells how her mother kept the family afloat by writing jingles and contest entries. Mom's winning ways defied the Church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated views of housewives. To her, flouting convention was a small price to pay when it came to securing a happy home for her six sons and four daughters. Evelyn, who would surely be a Madison Avenue executive if she were working today, composed her jingles not in the boardroom, but at the ironing board.

By entering contests wherever she found them — TV, radio, newspapers, direct-mail ads — Evelyn Ryan was able to win every appliance her family ever owned, not to mention cars, television sets, bicycles, watches, a jukebox, and even trips to New York, Dallas, and Switzerland. But it wasn't just the winning that was miraculous; it was the timing. If a toaster died, one was sure to arrive in the mail from a forgotten contest. Days after the bank called in the second mortgage on the house, a call came from the Dr Pepper company: Evelyn was the grand-prize winner in its national contest — and had won enough to pay the bank.

Graced with a rare appreciation for life's inherent hilarity, Evelyn turned every financial challenge into an opportunity for fun and profit. From her frenetic supermarket shopping spree — worth $3,000 today — to her clever entries worthy of Erma Bombeck, Dorothy Parker, and Ogden Nash, the story of this irrepressible woman whose talents reached far beyond her formidable verbal skills is told in The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio with an infectious joy that shows how a winning spirit will triumph over the poverty of circumstance.

Review:

"Ryan's daughter tells her mother's story in a memoir that is both an excellent chronicle of the contest-crazy '50s and '60s and a moving portrait of a clever, determined woman. Don't be surprised if this sleeper of a story generates tremendous word of mouth." David Pitt, Booklist

Review:

"A good-natured memoir as compelling as a commercial jingle." Judith Stone, O Magazine

Review:

"Nabs first prize in the memoir genre." People

Review:

"Prize Winner is the most charming and inspirational book I've read in a long time. It bursts with stories of soul, humanity, cunning, courage, and humor in the face of desperate times, like the shopping cart heaped full of groceries won by the author's indomitable mother." Anne Lamott

Review:

"Terry Ryan's story of her amazing, prize-winning mother is simply fabulous. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio is a wonderful snapshot of mid-twentieth-century America — a heartwarming, marvelous story that deserves its place alongside the best nonfiction in modern literature. Patricia Cornwell

About the Author

Terry Ryan, the sixth of Evelyn Ryan's ten children, is the writing half of T. O. Sylvester, a long-running cartoon in the San Francisco Chronicle. The author of two books of poetry, she lives in San Francisco, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743211222
Subtitle:
How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
Foreword:
Ryan, Betsy
Author:
Ryan, Terry
Afterword:
Ryan, Betsy
Afterword:
Orman, Suze
Author:
Orman, Suze
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
Women
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Family/Interpersonal Memoir
Subject:
Prize contests in advertising.
Subject:
Defiance
Subject:
Ryan family
Subject:
Ryan, Evelyn
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Series Volume:
106-494
Publication Date:
20010404
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.4375 x 5.5 in 19.792 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Mother Reader: Essential Writings on... New Trade Paper $23.95
  2. Motherhood Reconceived: Feminism and... New Trade Paper $32.50
  3. Callgirl: Confessions of an Ivy... Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. Womankind: Faces of Change Around... Used Trade Paper $3.98
  5. The Boundaries of Her Body: The... Used Hardcover $13.50
  6. Augusta, Gone: A True Story
    Used Trade Paper $4.50

Related Subjects


Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Americana » Midwest
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Work

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743211222 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Evelyn Ryan's family may have been one of the poorest in town, but her children did not go without the occasional taste of well-earned luxury. Their mother entered every contest imaginable (there were plenty in the '50s and '60s) and won everything from candy bars and basketballs to a trip to Switzerland and a down payment on the family's house. Terry Ryan ? poet, collaborating author of the long-running T. O. Sylvester cartoon, and sixth in Evelyn's brood ? offers this utterly heartwarming memoir about her mother's knack for keeping the family in shoes and in stitches when basic necessities and laughter would have otherwise been scarce. Ryan's memoir reveals as much about American consumers' relationship with postwar marketing as it does about her mother's wit and resourcefulness. Evelyn's jingles, crafted at the ironing board, made it into magazines, roadside Burma Shave signs, and ad campaigns all over the country. Her determination to share with her family every taste and experience that Privilege would never have deigned to grant them is deftly portrayed in this exhilarating tribute to spirit.

"Review" by , "Ryan's daughter tells her mother's story in a memoir that is both an excellent chronicle of the contest-crazy '50s and '60s and a moving portrait of a clever, determined woman. Don't be surprised if this sleeper of a story generates tremendous word of mouth."
"Review" by , "A good-natured memoir as compelling as a commercial jingle."
"Review" by , "Nabs first prize in the memoir genre."
"Review" by , "Prize Winner is the most charming and inspirational book I've read in a long time. It bursts with stories of soul, humanity, cunning, courage, and humor in the face of desperate times, like the shopping cart heaped full of groceries won by the author's indomitable mother."
"Review" by , "Terry Ryan's story of her amazing, prize-winning mother is simply fabulous. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio is a wonderful snapshot of mid-twentieth-century America — a heartwarming, marvelous story that deserves its place alongside the best nonfiction in modern literature.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.