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Finding ourselves in empty places: Life and literature of the Midwest

Virginia Marlaine Wright-Peterson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


“Finding Ourselves in Empty Places” consists of a collection of ten essays that synthesize the literature, history, natural history, and geography of the Midwestern plains with the author's personal experience living in the region with an emphasis on Minnesota and Nebraska and writers Willa Cather, Wright Morris, Sigurd Olson, Margaret Laurence, Paul Johnsgard, Yi Fu Tuan, and Paul Gruchow. ^ The essays reveal the complex relationships that exist among people and with the environment in a specific region currently and over time. The essays explore how human identities are influenced by the environment. The collection represents an ecological approach to literature, history, natural history, geography, and human relationships. The essays consider the implications of estrangement from the land and urges reconnection with it as a means of survival in a global information age. ^ The author's personal experiences living in the region, and her family's five-generation history, contribute an intimate perspective on solitude, resilience, love, and death. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Modern|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

Wright-Peterson, Virginia Marlaine, "Finding ourselves in empty places: Life and literature of the Midwest" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3064575.