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Prairie Talks welcomed Melanie Hoffert on January 26, 2014. Melanie Hoffert is the author of “Prairie Silence: A Memoir” (Beacon Press, 2013). She grew up on a farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota, where she spent her childhood wandering gravel roads and listening to farmers at church potlucks. Her work has been published in several literary journals, in which she received creative non-fiction awards, and she holds an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. Melanie lives in Minneapolis and works for Teach For America. Learn more about Melanie and order her book here: www.melaniehoffert.com.
Recent reviews for Prairie Silence:
“The author’s mostly quiet narrative includes a wealth of haunting images and ideas that will linger long after the last sentence. A heartfelt love song to a place and its people as well as an honest and rewarding rendering of the author’s interior landscape.”
“A heartfelt coming-out story as well as an eloquent elegy to a rural way of life that is rapidly vanishing from the American landscape.”
“Hoffert’s bittersweet and compelling memoir recalls her struggles at ending her silence and creating a fuller life for herself.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“The quiet, lyric prose of Melanie Hoffert’s Prairie Silence crept into my days, making it impossible for me to stop turning pages. This book is about looking for oneself in places we are so often afraid to venture. A beautiful debut from a brave new writer.”
—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance
“In Prairie Silence, Melanie Hoffert shows how the landscapes of our childhood continue to speak to us, and through us, long after we’ve left them behind. In this beautifully written and deeply imagined memoir, Hoffert invites us back to her North Dakota farming community for a season of harvest, a personal journey of profound courage and grace.”
—Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean
“Melanie Hoffert has written a gutsy, complicated book about the little town we both came from (but which she experienced in a much, much different way).”
—Chuck Klosterman, author of Downtown Owl and The Visible Man
“ ‘Over the last ten years I have been trying to resolve a seemingly simple dilemma: how to tell the state of North Dakota that I am gay.’ That’s the heart of this involving memoir by a woman who grew up on a farm near Wyndmere, N.D.”
—St. Paul Pioneer Press
This event was co-sponsored by the Heart of America Library and supported in part by the North Dakota Humanities Council.