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Feels Like Far Pa

Overview


In Feels Like Far, award-winning author Linda Hasselstrom paints an intimate portrait of family, love, work, nature, and survival against the backdrop of the far-flung South Dakota prairie. Sixteen linked stories tell of the joy of training a first horse, the heartbreak of finding a fatally injured cow, the beauty of cavorting nighthawks, the stubbornness of her father, a rigid old rancher who bucks at old age, the deep, almost spiritual bond she shares with a friend who is ...
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Overview


In Feels Like Far, award-winning author Linda Hasselstrom paints an intimate portrait of family, love, work, nature, and survival against the backdrop of the far-flung South Dakota prairie. Sixteen linked stories tell of the joy of training a first horse, the heartbreak of finding a fatally injured cow, the beauty of cavorting nighthawks, the stubbornness of her father, a rigid old rancher who bucks at old age, the deep, almost spiritual bond she shares with a friend who is diagnosed with AIDS.
“In deliciously direct and unsentimental style” (Kathleen Norris), Hasselstrom maps the landscape of her life, demarcating the same beauties and brutalities that intermingle on the Great Plains she calls home.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The city mouse/country mouse scenario is played out before the reader's eyes in this collection of essays by award-winning author Hasselstrom (Windbreak). Transported as a girl from Rapid City, SD, to a ranch on the broad Western plain of Dakota Territory when her mother remarried, Hasselstrom became enraptured with her new lifestyle and her adoptive father's willingness to have her help him on the ranch. The essays follow Hasselstrom's growth into adulthood, as she struggles with her love of the hard work, the culture of male leadership, and change in herself and her relationships. Brief stints as a writer in the city allow her to draw contrasts with life on the Great Plains. With finely descriptive language, Hasselstrom brings the reader to the Dakota ranch to visualize its vastness and beauty, all the while reinforcing the personal dedication of the family that lives so closely to the land. Recommended for secondary schools and public and academic libraries.--Joyce Sparrow, Oldsmar Lib., St. Petersburg, FL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A soulful memoir of prairie life. Name the heartbreak, and Linda Hasselstrom (Leaning Into The Wind, 1997, etc.) has faced it. Early on, her father, a taciturn and practical-minded Wyoming rancher, ordered her either to abandon her writing and take a $300-a-month job as a ranch hand, or get off the family spread and try her luck in the big city. Hasselstrom took the latter course, relocating to the prairie metropolis of Cheyenne and, as it turned out, eventually producing a distinguished body of essays and poems. In this memoir, Hasselstrom revisits her life on the ranch, a hard and unforgiving place where issues of life and death are never far away. In one chapter, she writes, for instance, of her pride at receiving a fine .22 rifle as a gift on her twelfth birthday, a gift that immediately had to be put to use against a sick steer and a family of barn-invading raccoons. "One by one, they put their paws over their eyes," she writes. "I groaned, but I shot them anyway." The epiphanies come fast and furious, as Hasselstrom faces the death of her second husband to cancer and the loss of her father, who, she discovers, had kept a memoir of his own, an archive apparently fated to have only one reader—his daughter. Having inherited the ranch from which she had been exiled, she closes her book by pondering whether she has any moral right to the land, inasmuch as she will have no children, has no intention of working the ranch, and has no real connection to it, for "everyone who ties me to this place is subsiding into the land." Hasselstrom is a careful writer who reveals just enough of herself without falling into sentimentality, and her book is a healthy corrective for anyone whoimagines that there's anything romantic about the cowboy way of life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618124954
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST MARINE
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author


LINDA HASSELSTROM is the author of many highly acclaimed books of nonfiction and poetry and the coeditor of Leaning into the Wind and Woven on the Wind. She divides her time between Wyoming and South Dakota.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Hawk Hits the Window 1
The Owl in the Dark 11
Sonata for Horses 21
Blues for Shoveling Horse Manure 33
Reckoning the Cost of a Dead Steer 45
Lightning Strikes the White Heifer 57
Looking for the Dark: Buffalo Winter 71
Beekeeper 87
Badger's Business 107
Looking for Death: The Deer Harvest 119
The Young Cow: Going Back to Grass 139
Looking for the Light: The Elk in the Aspen 153
Climbing into the Bull Pen 167
Nighthawks Fly in Thunderstorms 185
Looking for Life: Fire in the Wildlife Pasture 199
Badger's Daughter 211
Epilogue: Spinning with the Hawks 221
Acknowledgments 231
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