Western Women's Fiction

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Modern Day Self-Reliance

Where does a man go when he’s been misunderstood, cast aside and kicked in the gut; when everything’s been taken from him? For Henry Holyoak Lightcap, that place is home, but his journey is fraught with memories and trouble. Used up and worn out, he heads home, watching the landscape, the people as he travels. “The vampires of real estate, the leeches of finance, the tapeworms of profit, have fastened themselves to the body of my nation like a host from Hell.” READ MORE

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Family Like a Prairie

Ignorance and indifference like that suffered by the downwinders like Terry Tempest Williams and her family (see July 31 post) haven’t just arrived in America. The moment Columbus arrived on the islands of the West Indies he decided that the people he met would make good servants. It seems that he mistook their kindness and generosity for weakness and stupidity. READ MORE

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Resisting Hate

While downwinders’ like Terry Tempest Williams suffer from ignorance and indifference, victims of the Nazi Holocaust suffered from conscious malevolence. Yet, Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, said something interesting and (to me) surprising in a 1991 interview with Bill Moyers. He said that the Nazis didn’t hate the Jews they murdered by the millions. “Eichman said it, you know at the trial,” Wiesel explained. “He didn’t hate the Jews . . . . They didn’t even hate us, because you hate human beings. We weren’t human in their eyes.” READ MORE

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The Virtual Uninhabitants

I read Terry Tempest Williams’ memoir, Refuge: an Unnatural History of Family and Place more than ten years ago, but it resonated so strongly with me, that I’ve read it over again several times. In a book she writes “to heal myself, to confront what I do not know, to create a path for myself,” Williams sets out on a journey from ignorance and obedience to resistance, that comes at enormous cost both to her and her beloved bird wilderness. READ MORE

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It Started with Air Mattresses . . .

so begins a July 20, 2013, New York Times article by Thomas Friedman.

The story begins with a couple of young guys short on money to pay the rent. They owned three air mattresses, though, so they blew them up and rented them to participants in a conference with sold-out lodging. They made breakfast for their guests and served them as tour guides. But, according to Friedman, they were selling more than a place to sleep. They were selling trust. And their guests bought it, trusting them to deliver the air mattresses and the breakfast, as well as transportation around town.
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