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Dolly Parton is the reigning queen of country music, an iconic artist in command of her own career and image, and a thriving business empire to boot. But her rise was not an easy one: born into poverty in east Tennessee, she left for Nashville at 18 with her belongings in three paper bags. Even as she shot to fame and conquered a male-dominated world that underestimated her at every turn, she never lost her connection to the working-class community she sprang from.
In this affectionate, sharply insightful book, Sarah Smarsh draws on her own experience growing up in rural Kansas to craft a resonant portrait of Parton’s cultural importance, above all for the often unheard women who populate her songs: struggling mothers, pregnant teenagers, diner waitresses with deadbeat boyfriends. At once candidly intimate and searchingly analytical, She Come By It Natural captures the enduring appeal of this singular star.