Great Plains Book of the Month

Each month the Center for Great Plains Studies features one book as its "Great Plains Book of the Month." We carefully choose books that are accessible and on topics of interest and importance for our region. They may be on any subject, of any genre, published within the last couple of years; occasionally we may feature a book published by or written at the Center. Mainly we want to bring attention to what we consider exceptional works both to learn from and enjoy.


October Book of the Month

Great Plains Literature

By Linda Ray Pratt

Details: Literature, History

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press 

Great Plains Literature is an exploration of influential literature of the Plains in both the United States and Canada. The scope of the book is impressive, covering writings by the first people who lived on this land, the movement of Europeans and others into the region, and the tragic losses and successes that are still shaping our modern world.  In addition to featuring writers such as Ole Edvart Rölvaag, Willa Cather, and John Neihardt, who address the epic stories of the past, Great Plains Literature also includes contemporary writers such as Louis Erdrich, Kent Haruf, Ted Kooser, Rilla Askew, and N. Scott Momaday. Linda Ray Pratt is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the former executive vice president and provost of the University of Nebraska system. She is the author of Matthew Arnold Revisited.

Great Plains Literature is a fascinating introduction to the literary life west of Kansas City. . . . with coverage of classical writers as well as their predecessors and contemporary writers. One will find here writers from the region that they might not have heard of but who should be on the reading list; the book is full of pleasant surprises for those who are serious about understanding this place.”

— Ryder Miller, San Francisco Book Review

Great Plains Literature book of the month

Past Great Plains Books of the Month:

American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, Dan Flores

A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World, Paul Johnsgard

Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, Karen Hansen

Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret, David Jachowski

A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor, Joe Starita

Natives of a Dry Place: Stories of Dakota Before the Oil Boom, Richard Edwards

Towards a Prairie Atonement, Trevor Herriot

Walking the Llano, Shelley Armitage

Barnstorming the Prairie, Jason Weems

Homesteading the PlainsRichard Edwards, Rebecca Wingo, Jacob Friefeld