In this book are bits and pieces of dreams, lives, experiences, and vistas, like squares cut from old cloth and assembled into a crazy quilt of writing styles and forms. The patchwork design mirrors both the complexity of the chroniclers and the stark lines and angles of the American frontier. --Susan Cummins Miller, from the introduction
In this anthology of thirty-four writers who published during the settlement years of the American frontier, Miller assembles nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and occasional writings from women of Anglo, Chinese, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicity. Variously addressing such themes as isolation, drudgery, friendship, mourning, and even mysticism, these writers offer up a different frontier, one that focuses on women's experiences as much as men's. In brief biographical and historical introductions to each writer, Miller shares insights and context as engaging as the selections themselves.
Susan Cummins Miller is also the author of the Frankie MacFarlane Mysteries (Texas Tech). She worked as a field geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and taught geology and oceanography before turning to writing full time. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where the kinship she feels with frontier women writers continues to inspire her work.