I have discovered yet another fantastic wordsmith and observer of life and that is Hamlin Garland. I came across his autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border (published 1917), purely by accident about four weeks ago. As I am circling in on the final paragraphs, I find that I must point out the writer’s genius.
In the early chapters, not quite realizing that it was autobiographical, I found it unstimulating. But I was drawn into the finely described world of farming and homesteading on the prairie during the late nineteenth century. I felt the dirt, I smelled of the prairie flowers in the spring and the penetrating cold of the blizzard across the face of the wagoner, making his way from town out to the farm.
It is a wonderful book and I just discovered that he wrote a sequel called, A Daughter of the Middle Border, for which Garland won the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.