Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton

Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton

by Donna Baier Stein

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Overview

When a contemporary writer turns her imagination loose inside the images of an iconicartist of the past, the result is storytelling magic at its best. Here are nine tales that bring to vivid life the early decades of the 20th century as witnessed by one of America's most well-known painters. Thomas Hart Benton sketched fiddlers and farm wives, preachers and soldiers, folks gathering in dance halls and tent meetings. Though his lithographs depict the past, the real-life people he portrayed face issues that are front and center today: corruption, women’s rights, racial inequality.

In these stories we enter the imagined lives of Midwesterners in the late 1930s and early 1940s. A mysterious woman dancing to fiddle music makes one small gesture of kindness that helps heal the rift of racial tensions in her small town. A man leaves his childhood home after a tragic accident and becomes involved with the big-time gamblers who have made Hot Springs, Arkansas, their summer playground. After watching her mother being sent to an insane asylum simply for grieving over a miscarriage, a girl determines to never let any man have any say over her body.

Then as now, Americans have struggled with poverty, illness, and betrayal. Thesefictions reveal our fellow countrymen and women living with grace and strong leanings toward virtue, despite the troubles that face them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947175105
Publisher: Serving House Books
Publication date: 03/31/2019
Pages: 154
Sales rank: 496,254
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

About the Author

Donna Baier Stein is the author of The Silver Baron's Wife (PEN/New England Discovery Award, Bronze winner in Foreword Reviews 2017 Book of the Year Award, more), Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist, IndieBook Awards Finalist), Sometimes You Sense the Difference (poetry), and Letting Rain Have Its Say (poetry). She was a Founding Editor of Bellevue Literary Review and founded and publishes Tiferet Journal. Her work has been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Writer's Digest, Saturday Evening Post, New York Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals and anthologies.

Table of Contents

Missouri and Mythicity by Adam Brooke Davis ……………........9

A Landing Called Compromise ……………………................... 15

Trouble at the Dance Hall ………………………....................... 37

Morning Train …………………………………………...............49

Pointing East, Where Things Happen..…………………………. 59

For Her Own Good …………………………………………...... 73

The Sweet Perfume of Somewhere Else……………….........…... 89

Prodigal Son…………………………………………………….. 99

Spring 1933……………………………………………………. 113

Under the Weight of His Mother’s Body ……………………....127

Afterword …………………………………………………….. ..139

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Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
brf1948 3 months ago
Most everyone is familiar with the lithographs of Thomas Hart Benton. Once you have seen them, you remember them - they are very distinctive and tell an intense story. Well, peanut butter, meet jelly. Donna Baier-Stein has written short stories to bring these lithographs to life. Stories that will break your heart. It would be very hard to pick a favorite, but I truly loved Morning Train. And Trouble at the Dance Hall. And For Her Own Good. I am very pleased to be able to recommend this collection to friends and family. This is a book to treasure and read again. I received a free electronic copy of this excellent collection of stories on February 22 from Netgalley, Donna Baier-Stein, and Serving House Books. I have read and enjoyed this collection of stories of my own volition. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. This is my honest opinion of this work.
teachlz 4 months ago
 Based on "Scenes From the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs" by Thomas Hart Benton, written by Donna Baier Stein, readers get the combination  or marriage of Artistic Achievement plus a Literary Interpretation  and Storytelling. Donna Baier Stein vividly describes the lithographs she views with her amazing storytelling skills.  There are about nine stories to match the number of lithographs.  Thomas Hart Benton describes through his paintings, and art, times of American History in the 1930's and 1940's.  We get to see the importance of music, and dance, and the political climate of the time. Donna Baier Stein depicts her writing skills to create each scene with a story. I found many of the stories intriguing and captivating. Donna Baier Stein, writes about slavery, poverty, inequality and many other important topics of the time. There are problems, and the author depicts the courage and faith that people have to adapt. I would recommend this unique book of stories, for readers who enjoy history.