Great Plains Literature

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Great Plains Literature is a fascinating introduction to the literary life west of Kansas City, spreading north and south to parts as far as Alberta and New Mexico (regional map included). Linda Ray Pratt, emeritus professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, does a flawless job of bringing this literature and its authors to life. There is something here for everybody, with coverage of classical writers like Ole Edvart Rolvaag and Willa Cather as well as their predecessors and contemporary writers. One will find here writers from the region that they might not have heard of but who should be on the reading list; the book is full of pleasant surprises for those who are serious about understanding this place.

Pratt is contemporary and sensitive with concerns about environmentalism, ie., drought and habitat damage, but more focus is on the effect that white settlement had on the indigenous peoples and the area’s not widely known struggles with racism. This has been exacerbated by the region becoming more urban, leaving fewer people on the farms, which are facing heightened problems caused by climate change. There is attention to the tales of native Americans with remembrances of Black Elk, N. Scott Momaday, and John Neihardt, who helped them tell their tales. The story moves forward and backward in time and place in Pratt’s moving treatment.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Linda Ray Pratt
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 174 pages
Publisher Bison Books
Publish Date 2018-Mar-01
ISBN 9780803290709
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2018
Category History
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