Prairie Daughter: Stories and Poems from Iowa


The twentieth century was a period of astounding changes in this world, and the "Prairie Daughter", Essie Mae Thompson Hill, was both witness and participant in these events.

Born in a farmhouse in 1903 on the deep, black soil of Iowa, from a heritage of farmers, teachers and early American pioneers, she saw her country pass through the turmoil of two World Wars and the Great Depression, with changes in her own life that were beyond imagination at the time of her birth.

As a lively, beautiful young woman, she enjoyed the thrill of entry into work that had previously been impossible for women to consider. As a geologist and navigator, she competed with men, and was more than their equal. As a singer and lecturer, she was respected and admired, moving her audiences to tears, always with perfect composure. A strong-willed but sensitive teacher for her own children and countless others - including those we now call 'Special,' because they are - she enriched many lives. In the last years of her life, she drew upon memories of events that touched her readers with her visions of past and future. Her poems and narratives are expressions of love and hope for us all.

Essie Mae wrote four books: "Prairie Daughter"; "Let Thy Handmaidens Speak"; "Flapper Fun: Other Stories and Poems"; and "Essie Mae's Cookbook, with Recipes from Family and Friends." Her four books are now out of print, but the editor selected the best of her stories and poems to be made available again in this single volume. "Prairie Daughter" and "Let Thy Handmaidens Speak" are reprinted here with only minor editorial changes. Some of the stories in "Flapper Fun" were omitted because they were originally published in "Prairie Daughter", and representative recipes are selected from her "Cookbook."

This volume also includes some of Essie Mae's unpublished poems, and additional photographs which show some of the ways that Iowa life has changed in the past century.

Essie Mae Thompson Hill, author; George Hill, editor

2019, 8½x11, paper, 266 pp.

ISBN: 9780788458767