Yes, we’d love to travel to Africa’s Serengeti, or the Tibetan Plateau, but there’s a town in Nebraska that is also high on our list. Set deep in the Nebraska grasslands, Red Cloud is home to the largest living memorial to an author in the entire United States. Literary pilgrims from all over the world find their way to Willa Cather’s prairie homestead, and the surrounding Cather Prairie. For more information on Red Cloud & Willa Cather, visit the information-packed Willa Cather Foundation website!
And to grasp the depth and diversity of prairie literature, the best place to begin may be A Great Plains Reader, edited by P. Jane Hafen and Diane Quantic. This hefty anthology contains over 100 selections drawn from the works of authors such as Mari Sandoz, James Welch, Kathleen Norris, Loren Eiseley, Black Elk, O.E. Rolvaag, Linda Hasselstrom, Dan O’Brien, Wright Morris, and of course, Willa Cather.
The Land Library hopes to strengthen its Prairie Library little by little, more and more — building on great grassland books such as these:
Local Wonders by Ted Kooser, A Gravestone Made of Wheat by Will Weaver, Chokecherry Places: Essays from the High Plains by Merrill Gilfillan, American Indian Stories by Zitkala-Sa
And be sure to check out our previous prairie posts: