"Starting around 1950, people stopped raising chickens, milking cows, and raising hogs. They just buy it at the store, ready to eat. A lot buy a steer and have it processed in Dongola and put it in their freezer. What a difference! Girls have got it so easy now. They don't even know what it was like to start out. And I guess my mother's life, when she started out, was as hard again as mine, because they had to make everything by hand. I don't know if it could get any easier for these girls. But they don't know what it was like, and they never will. Everything is packaged. All you do is go to the store and buy you a package and cook it. Automatic washers and dryers. I'm glad they don't have to work like I did. Very glad."
Edith Bradley Rendleman's story of her life in southern Illinois is remarkable in many ways. Recalling the first half of the twentieth century in great detail, she vividly cites vignettes from her childhood as her family moved from farm to farm until settling in 1909 in the Mississippi bottoms of Wolf Lake. She recounts the lives and times of her family and neighbors during an era gone forever.
Remarkable for the vivid details that evoke the past, Rendleman's account is rare in another respect: memoirs of the time—usually written by people from elite or urban families—often reek of nostalgia. But Rendleman's memoir differs from the norm. Born poor in rural southern Illinois, she tells an unvarnished tale of what it was really like growing up on a tenant farm early this century.
The Island of Lost Luggage
Janet McAdams University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3563.C263I85 2000 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
". . . at the Island of Lost Luggage, they line up:
the disappeared, the lost children, the Earharts
of modern life. It's your bad luck to die in the cold
wars of certain nations. But in the line at Unclaimed
Baggage, no one mourns for the sorry world
that sent them here . . ."
The abused. The oppressed. The terrified victims of institutionalized insanity. Making daring connections between the personal and the political, Janet McAdams draws new lines in the conflict between the new and old worlds as she redefines the struggle to remain human.
This award-winning collection of poetry forges surprising links among seemingly unrelated forms of violence and resistance in today's world: war in Central America, abuses against Nature, the battleground of the bedroom. McAdams evokes the absurdity of everyday existence as she sends out a new call for social responsibility.
The Island of Lost Luggage is the poetry winner of the 1999 First Book Awards competition of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
Janet McAdams University of Arizona Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3563.C263R43 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
This trip wasn’t about her, her need to escape. She had been too young when it happened. Too young to understand what could be worth risking everything for. Even now they seemed naïve, foolish in their belief that anything could change. They had tried to save a generation. If she couldn’t save them, she might find a way to finish their story.
Neva Greene is seeking answers.
The daughter of American Indian activists, Neva hasn’t seen or heard from her parents since they vanished a decade earlier, after planning an act of resistance that went terribly wrong. Discovering a long-overlooked clue to their disappearance, Neva follows their trail to Central America, leaving behind an uncaring husband, an estranged brother, and a life of lukewarm commitments.
Determined to solve the mystery of her parents’ disappearance, Neva finds work teaching English in the capital city of tiny Coatepeque, a country torn by its government’s escalating war on its Indigenous population. As the violence and political unrest grow around her, Neva meets a man whose tenderness toward her seems to contradict his shadowy political connections.
Against the backdrop of Central American politics, this suspenseful first novel from award-winning poet Janet McAdams explores an important chapter in American Indian history. Through finely drawn, compelling characters and lucidly beautiful prose, Red Weather explores the journey from loss to possibility, from the secrets of the past to the longings of the present.