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Kate M. Cleary: A Literary Biography with Selected Works
     

Kate M. Cleary: A Literary Biography with Selected Works

by Susanne George Bloomfield
 

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"Essential, rewarding reading."-Tillie Olsen. "Wide-ranging and thorough research . . . The author has made the wise decision to include excerpts of Cleary's works so we can see for ourselves what we've been missing."-Glenda Riley, author of Building and Breaking Families in the American West. In 1884 Kate Cleary moved from Chicago to Hubbell, Nebraska, where she bore

Overview

"Essential, rewarding reading."-Tillie Olsen. "Wide-ranging and thorough research . . . The author has made the wise decision to include excerpts of Cleary's works so we can see for ourselves what we've been missing."-Glenda Riley, author of Building and Breaking Families in the American West. In 1884 Kate Cleary moved from Chicago to Hubbell, Nebraska, where she bore six children and helped support her family by publishing hundreds of stories, poems, and articles. After her return to Chicago in 1898, Cleary continued to write stories about the American West. Susanne K. George's absorbing account recovers the life and works of a fascinating western American author. She vividly portrays Cleary's arduous decade and a half on the frontier and her last, tragic years in Chicago, where she died in 1905, at the age of 42. George also describes how Cleary's career reflects the difficulties faced by women authors at the end of the nineteenth century and the unique perspectives that such women brought to the art of fiction. The second part of the book is devoted to a collection of Cleary's writings. Some of these eighteen short stories, essays, and sketches are somber, even grim, depictions of homestead and small-town life in Nebraska, with special emphasis placed on the experiences of women. Others are humorous, ironic accounts of life on the western frontier. Also included is a sampling of Cleary's verse. Susanne K. George is an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Kearney. She is the author of The Adventures of The Woman Homesteader: The Life and Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Nebraska 1992).

Editorial Reviews

American Studies
"Even without the Cleary texts this would be an absorbing read, as George constructs, at times using marvelous letters, the story of a young woman born in 1863 to a cultured family, who went west with her new businessman husband to live in a Nebraska town which had not existed four years previously. There she continued to write, bore six children (speaking of her fear of childbirth, the 'black shadow'), and endured the death of two of them and an eight-year-long morphine addiction started after puerperal fever. Returning after fourteen years to Chicago, she wrote more. . . . She lived her last three years in single rented rooms writing to eat and to pay off hospital bills [and] the rent of her typewriter, . . . and was often down to less than a dollar."—American Studies
Nebraska History
"Fascinating . . . Kate M. Cleary shows the disillusionment of the female artist as she carefully chronicles her personal life, her birthing pain, her misunderstood creative endeavors, and her loss of husband and children. As readers, we empathize with Kate M. Cleary's nineteenth-century world. Her sketches, short stories, essays, and poetry focus on more than the female pioneer; rather, they depict frontier life on the plains."—Nebraska History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803270961
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska Paperback
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Susanne K. George is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She is the author of The Adventures of The Woman Homesteader: The Life and Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, also available in a Bison Books edition.

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