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  • Dolly Parton has said that she is a very sensitive person.
  • Dolly Parton revealed a book that has always made her weep.
  • The singer partnered with James Patterson to write her first fiction book.
Dolly Parton wears a white dress and holds a guitar. She stands in front of a microphone.
Dolly Parton | Pete Still/Redferns

Dolly Parton has a sunny public persona, but there are things that impact her deeply. She’s even joked that her happy glow is a result of Botox, not genuine emotion. In celebration of her new book Run, Rose, Run, Parton went through a list of books that mean something to her. She revealed that one made her weep uncontrollably.

The ‘Jolene’ singer once said that she feels everything deeply 

In 1981, Parton revealed that while she experiences heartbreak and periods of sadness, she tries to move past it.

“I’m not happy being miserable,” she said, per the book Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton. “I hurt bad. I hurt deep. And I cry hard at times. But I get it out and get it over with and get back to better things.”

She described herself as a very sensitive person who works hard to be happy.

“Nobody is happy all the time,” she told Southern Living. “I’m a very sensitive person. I’m a songwriter, so I have to live with my feelings on my sleeve. I have to not harden my heart, because I want to stay open to feel things. So when I hurt, I hurt all over. And when I cry, I cry real hard. And when I’m mad, I’m mad all over. I’m just a person; I like to experience whatever the feeling is and whatever I’m going through. But I have a good attitude. And I was born with a happy heart. I’m always looking for things to be better.”

Dolly Parton shared one book that brought her to tears

Though Parton works to curate her own positive emotions, she can’t be happy all the time. She feels things deeply, including the media she consumes. She told Elle about the one book that made her “weep uncontrollably,” The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow.

The novel was originally published in 1954 and follows a Kentucky family who moves to Detroit. Per Simon and Schuster, the family’s matriarch “learns she will have to fight desperately to keep her family together.”

The book has been meaningful to Parton for years, so much so that she helped Jane Fonda prepare for her role in the film. 

“She is a mountain woman in the true and real sense and what I love most about her, when she listened to me talk about this project that was so close to my heart, she said there’s been too many things done that have stereotyped my people, and if you’re going to do it, do it right,” Fonda said, per UPI. “And two weeks after we finished 9 to 5, by God if she didn’t organize a trip for me and took me through Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas on her tour bus and we’d go as far back in the mountains as we could.”

Dolly Parton published her first fiction book

Parton recently tried her hand at writing fiction that moves people. She teamed up with author James Patterson to write the book Run, Rose, Run. The book follows an up-and-coming musician who is on the run from her past.


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“It’s got a lot of mystery, information about the music business, romance, suspense, love,” Parton told MIC. “All the things that make for a good book. I wrote a whole album for it called Run, Rose, Run and we’ll be premiering it on Songteller Radio along with the book. I’m really excited for it.”