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A Daughter of the Middle Border by Hamlin…

A Daughter of the Middle Border (1921)

by Hamlin Garland

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Hamlin Garland opens up life in both Wisconsin and the mountains out West the late 1800s, then proceeds to illuminate Chicago and New York City in the early 1900s.
An early believer in equal marriage and feminism, his writings were unique though they took a long time to be valued. Though proud and with a slow growing reputation,
he remained honest about himself, his disappointments, his restless feelings and depressions. This book is the sequel to SON OF THE MIDDLE BORDER. Both are
invaluable for understanding the early settlers of Middle Wisconsin. ( )
  m.belljackson | Jul 6, 2016 |
1687 A Daughter of the Middle Border, by Hamlin Garland (read 10 Jan 1982) (Pulitzer Biography prize for 1922) This is the direct sequel of A Son of the Middle Border, covering the time up to Garland's father's death in 1914. It is really a repulsive book. Garland is a super-pessimist. When he talks about good times he bemoans the fact that they are past--his bemoaning of past misfortunes seems to be what he likes. Obviously the poor guy had no Faith and he would have been a lot better off with such. The book is an awful book, and I am glad to be done with it. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 15, 2008 |
Hamlin Garland was a prolific writer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1917 he published his autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border. It was widely acclaimed and led him to publish A Daughter of the Middle Border as its sequel. Both followed the lives of his parents and him as they lived and worked in the Midwest. Garland had a great urge to share with the "intellectuals" of the east what the Midwest was like.

A Daughter of the Middle Border follows Garland as he marries and his family grows. He describes how often he was torn between the family farm in the Midwest and "civilization" in the great metropolitan areas of the east. He and his wife often spent summers at the family farm and the rest of the year travelling between Chicago and New York, but as his family grew it became harder and harder to leave the simplicity of farm life and the love of grandparents. We see his family grow, but we also see the older generation, the generation of A Son of the Middle Border pass on.

It is interesting to see the early descriptions of the blooming Midwest and also Garland's descriptions of the west through his extensive travels. He writes of the wonder at seeing places that have never been touched by man. He has tremendous respect for the Native American and his ways. How amazing it must have been to travel through untouched and unspoiled nature. I fear there are few places left on earth that are quite like that.

This book wasn't the best book I have read so far, but it definitely wasn't the worst, either. It is only 200 pages long, so that helps. I couldn't figure out through the entire book if A Daughter of the Middle Border referred to his wife or daughter. In the end, it seems like it was supposed to be his wife, but she really only plays a background role in the whole thing. It is like he didn't want to name the book A Son of the Middle Border, Part 2, so he changed Son to Daughter.

A side note, I was looking on www.wikipedia.org for a little information on Garland and found this: "Garland died at age seventy-nine, after moving to Hollywood, California, where he devoted his remaining years to investigating psychic phenomena..." That made me laugh. ( )
  curls_99 | Jul 28, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0873515668, Paperback)

This sequel to Garland’s acclaimed autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border, continues his story as he sets out for Chicago and settles into a Bohemian encampment of artists and writers. There he meets Zulime Taft, an artist who captures his heart and eventually becomes his wife. The intensity of this romance is rivaled only by Garland’s struggle between America’s coastal elite and his heartland roots. A Daughter of the Middle Border won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922, forever securing his place in the literary canon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Pulitzer Prize-winning sequel to A Son of the Middle Border continues the autobiographical theme of that book and deals with Garland's marriage and later career. A sensitive study of individuals, their relationships, and the colorful drama that made up their daily lives. Among the most perceptive regional works in American literature, this volume about the trials and challenges of pioneer life in mid-America will be of interest to history students and anyone fascinated by the 19th-century cultural scene.… (more)

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