Told in the Drooling Ward

   A world hidden from view

   A place now lost to memory

Jack London, as you’ve never read him before.In 1914 Jack London wrote this largely overlooked short story about his neighbors down the hill, the residents of the Sonoma State Home for the Feeble-Minded.

London, though a world-famous author at the time, was a rancher at heart, and his Beauty Ranch shared the eastern slope of Sonoma Mountain with the extraordinary population that inhabited the tree-lined lanes, the echoing day halls, and the back-wards — the “drooling wards” — of what was, for many decades, the country’s largest home for the developmentally disabled. Inquisitive as well as practical, it is only natural that London would occasionally hire day-laborers from the State Home, working alongside them, studying them, and, finally, using his craft to capture what he perceived to be their essence. Always striving to get to the heart of any subject he tackled, for this story London adopts the persona of a resident, a feeb, using a voice that is unique in his canon. The authentic cadences and rhythms he employs as Tom, the narrator, stand as one of London’s most nuanced, and least appreciated, achievements as a writer.
Told In the Drooling Ward Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 3 reviews
5 1

Jack London's Life in the Drooling Ward

★★★★★
5 5 1
Would love to read more of this story!

Droolin' Ward

★★★★★
5 5 1
for being "just" a short story, it is quite informative about Jack London's world. Its captivating and since it's short it doesn't "tie up" the readers time telling the story! Huzzah , Ed, & keep doing this!

Revealing a Mystery

★★★★★
5 5 1
This story, and its forward, is a revelation of a place and time I never knew. Despite having lived in Glen Ellen for over 25 years and driven through SDC thousands of times, I never really knew anything of the world beyond the gates. However, now I feel I've been given a very personal insight into the past of our community.


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