It’s called She Come By It Natural and explores the country icon’s career and art.  

By Southern Living
September 23, 2020
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A few new books about Dolly Parton and her music are hitting shelves this season, and one of them explores the lives of the women who lived her songs. She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs is a new book examining Dolly Parton’s life and career, as well as the sociocultural phenomena that shaped her songs and spoke to women’s lived experiences. It’s written Sarah Smarsh, a Kansas-based journalist who is a National Book Award Finalist and the New York Times Bestselling author of the memoir Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, which was published in 2018. She Come By It Natural is slated to be released in Fall 2020.

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

According to Simon and Schuster, “Far beyond the recently resurrected ‘Jolene’ or quintessential ‘9 to 5,’ Parton’s songs for decades have validated women who go unheard: the poor woman, the pregnant teenager, the struggling mother […]. Parton’s broader career—from singing on the front porch of her family’s cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains to achieving stardom in Nashville and Hollywood, from ‘girl singer’ managed by powerful men to leader of a self-made business and philanthropy empire—offers a springboard to examining the intersections of gender, class, and culture.”

Exploring the role of country music, and Dolly Parton, in the lives of those working hard and struggling, Smarsh writes that “country music was foremost a language among women. It’s how we talked to each other in a place where feelings aren’t discussed.”

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs will be published on October 13, 2020, but you can pre-order it now from your local independent bookstore—find it at bookshop.org—or from Amazon (Buy it: $22, amazon.com).

What are your favorite Dolly Parton songs? Which songs from her catalog have always resonated with you?