“Everything That Seems Empty is Full of Angels”: Remembering the Great Plains

As it turns out, the Plains have been essential not only for my own growth as a writer, they have formed me spiritually. I would even say they have made me a human being. —Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (11) Kathleen Norris’s now-classic Dakota became a touchstone for me when I read it 25 […]

Little Houses and Big Truths on the Prairie: Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder

It takes a lot of work to uncover what really happened to the vast prairies of the North American Midwest.  You have to dig under Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous 1890 declaration that the frontier had made America what it was and now it was gone.  Pioneer famers, Turner said, had busted sod, felled forests, and […]