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Prairie Grass and Other Leaves cover

Book Details:
  • 234 pages
  • Black & White
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Available Formats:
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
  • 978-1-4602-7851-2 Hardcover
  • 978-1-4602-7852-9 Paperback
  • 978-1-4602-7853-6 eBook

Prairies, Midwest, Frontier, Rural life, Farming, Pioneers, Relationships

Prairie Grass and Other Leaves
Short Stories from the Midwest Plains by Laurel Means

Midwest prairie grass has many leaves and many moods, and each of the sixteen short stories of this collection graphically conveys the challenge, pathos, and beauty evoked by that dramatic setting. “Prairie Voices” speaks through the voices of early pioneers, while “Songs of Experience” adapts Blake’s poems to contemporary gender relationships. “What is Unspoken” transforms the prairies into a surreal and terrifying world, where yet humor might just — just might —surface. “Places of the Heart” discovers those secret places in which the spirit may find home, not in a barren landscape, but one teeming with life, growth, and revelation. A richly varied series in its detailed setting and imagery, deeply satisfying in its in-depth depiction of characters and fast-moving narrative.

“...well-told and absorbing stories...within strongly revealed settings of scenes, objects, and daily tasks, full of challenge and promise.”

—Jay Macpherson, Author.

“Laurel Means offers further evidence that she is one of those rarest of historical authors—one who has absolute mastery over the facts and realities of an era without ever allowing those details to burden or hinder the rich tapestry of a story written by her fully realized characters.”

—Susan Thurston, Author, Reviewer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“C’est magnifique!”

—Angela Hunt, Carver County Libraries.”

Laurel Means finds her inspiration in the fascinating stories and singular imagery of the Dakota, Illinois, and Minnesota prairies

where she was born and raised. She sees a wealth of imaginative possibilities in the beauty and challenges of both historical and contemporary life in this region that translate readily into fiction.

Much historical research underlies these stories. The “gossip” and “country correspondent” columns of local newspapers, 1860– 1900, provided details and insights into the human experience of this period’s everyday life. The author also drew upon research into her own French Canadian ancestry for a number of these narratives.

Previous works by Laurel Means include the historical fiction Green Prairie Trails series and, under the penname Madelyn Guyette, the Green Prairie Trails Spiritual Series. She made the joyful transition to full-time writing after an academic career teaching writing, comparative literature, and linguistics.

Laurel lives in Chaska, Minnesota, with her extended family, often encouraged by how her mother once described her as “busy in mind and spirit, and embracing the beauty of the world.”


Laurel Means

What People are Saying

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