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book cover of Ellen Foster

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

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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: Ellen Foster (Virago Modern Classics)
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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


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


April 2001 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: 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
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Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   


May 2000 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


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


August 1999 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: 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
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Title: Ellen Foster
Author(s): Kaye Gibbons
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA