Melanie Hoffert’s first book, ‘Prairie Silence,’ is a rich, affecting look at family, acceptance, and farm life in North Dakota and the small towns nearby in the southeast corner of the state. Small town, rural life isn’t always as simple as Burma Shave signs, nickel Cokes and Wonder Bread sandwiches at the family table. She explains why in an appealing, introspective narrative that takes the reader from the farm, to summer camp, to corner saloons and into the big city. The memoir, at its graceful conclusion, is of friendship, family and mostly, why home can be so meaningful. (The family barn is almost a lifelike creature in the book and I’m not going to share the ending; you’ll have to buy the book and enjoy the journey.) I read it earlier this year, have re-read it and have gifted it to others.
The good news is Ms. Hoffert is coming to Sheridan for a reading, a book signing and to lead a writing seminar.
• She’ll do a reading at the Fulmer Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
• On Friday, Oct. 25, she’ll doing a writing seminar at Sheridan College which will also be a part of a genesis of the new Creative Writing Club at Sheridan College.
• On Saturday, Oct. 26, she’ll do a book signing at Sheridan Books and Stationery/Gallery.
Ms. Hoffert lives in Minneapolis, grew up on a family farm near Wyndmere, N.D., (pop. 429) and has an MFA degree in creative writing from Hamline University. She has received numerous awards for her essays.
She has family connections here in Sheridan. Her grandmother is Janet Thiel; her aunt and uncle are Mary and Paul Schneider.
Sponsors: The Sheridan Press, Fulmer Public Library, Sheridan College, Sheridan Books and Stationery.
Dept. of Managed Expectations
“Plagued by alcohol abuse, obesity and mental illness, inceasing economic insecurity and limited access to health care, child care nd public transportation, residents of the Coulee Region says it’s a great place to live.”
—La Crosse (Wisc.) Tribune.
(From The New Yorker)
If you grew up in Texas, you grew up with “Aggie jokes.”
And while Texas A&M is the largest university in Texas, and is one of the top research universities in the U.S. in regard to space exploration, animal cloning and petroleum engineering among other top disciplines, some traditions never cease, like that of the not-so-bright Aggie student. Looking ahead to the big Alabama/A&M showdown in College Station, to wit:
So Bo had attended Texas A&M for eight years without getting a college degree. Tired of watching his friends graduate, Bo acquired a cap and gown and lined up with the others at graduation ceremonies. A dean recognized him, and cried out, “Bo, you can’t graduate. You didn’t pass math.”
The graduates, who knew and liked Bo, started chanting: “Give him a chance! Give him a chance!”
So the dean relented, and said, “Okay, Bo, you can have a degree if you tell me what two plus three equals.”
“Five,” said Bo, proudly.
The graduates began chanting: “Give him another chance! Give him another chance!”