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Ellen Foster

(1987)
A novel by

 
Awards
Oprah's Book Club Best Book (nominee)
Kaye Gibbons is a writer who brings a short story sensibility to her novels. Rather than take advantage of the novel's longer form to paint her visions in broad, sweeping strokes, Gibbons prefers to concentrate on just one corner of the canvas and only a few colors to produce her small masterpieces. In Gibbons's case, her canvas is the American South and her colors are all the shades of gray.

In Ellen Foster, the title character is an 11-year-old orphan who refers to herself as "old Ellen," an appellation that is disturbingly apt. Ellen is an old woman in a child's body; her frail, unhappy mother dies, her abusive father alternately neglects her and makes advances on her, and she is shuttled from one uncaring relative's home to another before she finally takes matters into her own hands and finds herself a place to belong. There is something almost Dickensian about Ellen's tribulations; like Oliver Twist, David Copperfield or a host of other literary child heroes, Ellen is at the mercy of predatory adults, with only her own wit and courage--and the occasional kindness of others--to help her through. That she does, in fact, survive her childhood and even rise above it is the book's bittersweet victory.

 
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Used availability for Kaye Gibbons's Ellen Foster


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

October 2008 : USA Library Binding
Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 1-4395-6088-9 / 978-1-4395-6088-4 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 1997 : USA Library Binding
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-8335-2543-3 / 978-0-8335-2543-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1998 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7540-3315-5 / 978-0-7540-3315-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 1998 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7838-0115-7 / 978-0-7838-0115-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: G K Hall & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 1997 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster (Oprah's Book Club)
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7569-0150-2 / 978-0-7569-0150-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

June 1990 : USA Turtleback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-606-17557-1 / 978-0-606-17557-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Demco Media
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 1988 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-224-02529-5 / 978-2724240290 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 1987 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-912697-52-0 / 978-0-912697-52-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Algonquin Books Of Chapel Hill
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 1987 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster (Oprah's Book Club)
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 1-56512-205-4 / 978-1-56512-205-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

October 2012 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 1-61620-302-1 / 978-1-61620-302-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 1998 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7540-3316-3 / 978-0-7540-3316-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 1998 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster (VMC)
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 1-86049-605-9 / 978-1-86049-605-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Virago
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

May 1998 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster (Oprah's Book Club)
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7838-0116-5 / 978-0-7838-0116-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: G K Hall & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 1990 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-375-70305-5 / 978-0-375-70305-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

May 1990 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster: movie tie-in edition
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-679-72866-X / 978-0-679-72866-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon CA   

October 1989 : UK Paperback
Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-330-30450-X / 978-0-330-30450-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pan Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

1987 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-394-75757-2 / 978-0-394-75757-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

January 2011 : UK Audio edition
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   

April 2001 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7435-0860-2 / 978-0-7435-0860-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Audioworks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

May 2000 : USA Audio edition
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   

May 2000 : UK Audio edition
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   

August 1999 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-671-79860-X / 978-0-671-79860-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (a)
Availability: Amazon CA   

1998 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7887-2019-8 / 978-0-7887-2019-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   

1998 : USA Audio CD
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-7887-3965-4 / 978-0-7887-3965-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books Inc.
Availability: Amazon   

1998 : USA Audio CD
Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 1-4193-5806-5 / 978-1-4193-5806-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: RecordedBooks
Availability: Amazon   

August 1996 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
ISBN: 0-671-88567-7 / 978-0-671-88567-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Audioworks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


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