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The Dollmaker
by Harriette Arnow
Reporter Al Smith conducted this interview with Harriette Simpson Arnow in 1979 for the Murray State University television production Kentucky Profiles.
Click on a segment link below to begin watching the interview from that point. The segments are in the RealVideo® format. [Help with RealPlayer]
  • Segment 1
    Open/Introduction (Start here to see the complete 28:54 video.)
  • Segment 2
    Arnow talks about a 4th-grade writing assignment.
  • Segment 3
    Smith asks “Do you recall saying to yourself as a child, ‘I’m going to be a writer.’?” Arnow replies.
  • Segment 4
    Video roll-in shows Arnow’s hometown of Burnside, with Smith relating her childhood history.
  • Segment 5
    Arnow (voiceover) talks about her first job teaching and about listening to the speech of the mountain people around her.
  • Segment 6
    Smith (voiceover) talks about Arnow’s college history.
  • Segment 7
    Arnow talks about living, working, and writing in Cincinnati.
  • Segment 8
    Smith asks, “When were you first published?” Arnow replies.
  • Segment 9
    Smith (voiceover) gives background on the novel Mountain Path.
  • Segment 10
    Smith asks, “How did your family react to this book?” Arnow replies.
  • Segment 11
    Smith prompts Arnow to talk about her marriage: “Well, you didn’t fall in love with a moonshiner ... but ... with a newspaper man.” Arnow responds.
  • Segment 12
    Smith asks, “After you married, you moved to Cumberland National Forest to write. What was that like?” Arnow replies.
  • Segment 13
    Smith (voiceover) gives background on Arnow’s life teaching in Cumberland, her move to Detroit, and, 13 years later, writing Hunter’s Horn.
  • Segment 14
    Smith asks about her characters having an opportunity for making choices. Arnow replies.
  • Segment 15
    Smith (voiceover) gives background on The Dollmaker.
  • Segment 16
    Arnow talks about Gertie in The Dollmaker.
  • Segment 17
    Smith asks, “When did you decide that life didn’t have any happy endings?”
  • Segment 18
    Smith asks Arnow when she finds time for writing. Arnow replies.
  • Segment 19
    Smith asks about finding time to write and Arnow talks about writing and the role of housewife.
  • Segment 20
    Smith (voiceover) summarizes.
  • Segment 21
    In footage from a writing workshop, Arnow is seen talking about women writers in general.
  • Segment 22
    Smith asks about Arnow’s work in progress.
  • Segment 23
    Arnow chats with another workshop presenter/writing teacher.

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