Leaning Into The Wind

Overview

In the true stories, essays, and poems of Leaning into the Wind we meet the real women of the High Plains today. Included are reflections on cowboys, tractor-driving lessons, outhouses, ranch marriages, and family legacies.

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Overview

In the true stories, essays, and poems of Leaning into the Wind we meet the real women of the High Plains today. Included are reflections on cowboys, tractor-driving lessons, outhouses, ranch marriages, and family legacies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A truly rich contribution to the natural literature of America." - Dee Brown

"205 voices that will knock your heart out." The Denver Post

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 125 short essays and poems in this compelling anthology were written by residents of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. These High Plains womensome of whom have been published beforeare ranchers, farmers, teachers, veterinarians, mail carriers and trappers. They describe their hard physical work, the weather, the isolation, their marriages, their families, their animals and, above all, their love of the land and fierce determination to hold on to their way of life. The pieceshumorous, poignant, candid, outspokencarry a clear message: these tough women possess "the power and the dignity that comes from strife and experience and teeth-grinding faith." The editors, who solicited the writings because they want to "change old stereotypes" and "show the world [the] real women we know," all lead literary lives as well. Hasselstrom is the author of A Roadside History of South Dakota; Collier has written several books on horsemanship; Curtis is the publisher of High Plains Press. (June)
Library Journal
The editors of this anthology spent several years collecting writings by women of the High Plains states: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. The final product contains the work of over 200 authors. Poems and short prose fragments are gathered into chapters by general themes, such as working with livestock or family life. This collection showcases the voices of a wide variety of women of the Plains, allowing them to share their visions and experiences of the American West. The writing is generally good, but a smaller number of longer pieces would have given individual authors a chance to express themselves more fully. Recommended for regional collections.Gwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces
Kirkus Reviews
Essays, stories, poems, and a few recipes by women from the High Plains.

Some years ago memoirist Hasselstrom, librarian/horsewoman Collier, and publisher Curtis, residents of Wyoming, put out a call throughout the northern plains, asking for "authentic" and "clear" views of women's lives there. Their emphasis was particularly on the authentic: Protesting perhaps a little too much, they opine that the West has been popularized to the point where "a New York stockbroker slips on pointy-toed boots in psychedelic colors to dine with a lady in a fringed skirt and mocassins," and real cowpokes are ashamed to be seen wearing cowboy hats for fear they'll be mistaken for these poseurs. They've turned up plenty of authentic work here. The collection suffers only from a predictable level of repetition, inasmuch as many of the 125 contributors (including teachers, housewives, cattle and sheep ranchers, and writers) turn to the same themes: the loneliness of ranch life, the smell of new-mown hay, the bitterness of an Alberta Clipper wind in the thick of winter. For all the sameness, though, many of the pieces—few by previously published writers—are very fine, among them NellieWesterskow's remembrance of her first year of marriage, in 1921, when she and her husband were so poor they "had to share the only fork until Nels found another at an abandoned homestead when he was out riding." Garnet Perman's "Evolution of a Country Woman" is a good-natured enumeration of all the things that a ranch wife has to know (such as the fact that "sheep have an IQ three points below that of wormwood"). Morgan Songi offers a lyrical account, noting that in the "crystal mornings after an ice storm" the beauty of the land makes up for the isolation of farm life.

A fine example of regional anthologizing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395901311
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (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

Introduction: Grass Widows and Wrinklebelly Women
This Soil, My Body 3
I Carry the Ranch Inside Me 39
Pay a Holy Kind of Attention 92
Grass Echoes Grass 141
Not a Half-Assed Country 175
Experience Counts 199
Choose the Music 245
The Good Dance 270
The River of Stories 303
Contributors 341
Acknowledgments 381
Credits 383
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    Inspiration western style

    This book is wonderful. Its contemporary authors are amazing women with fortitude and wisdom. As an anthology, I could read one or two stories everynight at bedtime and feel complete and ready for the next day here in the middle of windy Colorado. I have given this book to friends and keep ordering more as gifts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2002

    Extraordinary writing from ordinary women

    These writers must have thought,long and hard before commiting words to paper. I see humble words, well written, in a picturesque way that includes the reader in the situation. I highly recommmed this book. I have had calves in my bathtub, and have checked cattle in the middle of the night...I wish I knew that someone else was 'out there' with me. You don't need to have 'been there' to have 'done that'...these writers take you there!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2000

    Head west with this great collection of memoirs!

    I was moved by the many hardships experienced by women who lived in the west. Despite the harshness of the landscape and all that Mother Nature could dish out--each woman found a sacredness in their daily chores. This collection of journal entries, notes, diaries, and stories was a glorious escape from MY congested life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2000

    True words from true women

    This is an amazing collection of non-fiction from American Western women. Each essay and poem paints a clear, concise picture of life on the western prairie. It gave me a tremendous respect for each and every woman who contributed to the collection and a new appreciation for my 'farmer' friends here in the midwest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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