Harriette Arnow was an American teacher, novelist, social historian and essayist, celebrated for her works on the populations of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. She was born into a family of teachers in 1908 and after studying at the University of Louisville taught for two years in a school in rural Pulaski County. These experiences provided the basis for her first novel, Mountain Path. After spending time in Cincinnati and Kentucky, Arnow moved with her husband and two children to a farm in Michigan. It was there that she wrote The Dollmaker in 1954, a book that would become a landmark in American fiction. It was at that same farm that she died in 1984.