Susie Bright, in addition to being a best-selling author, activist, and podcast host, is editor at large for Audible. Susie's blog, The Bright List, keeps readers and listeners apprised of new audiobooks.
Today's post is a cross-post Aretha Bright's Bright List review of Prairie Silence by Melanie M. Hoffert
What's the story of an expatriate from rural America like? Here we have a gay woman, who was never seen by anyone in her small North Dakota town as anything but a cipher. She finally left her claustrophobic but compelling rural life behind for downtown Minneapolis.
Now, years later, she wants to go back home to visit. Everyone from her childhood asks her if she’s found a “fella” yet. Cue the sweaty palms and abrupt subject changes.
Magnificent writing. You’ll understand the true meaning of “prairie silence” in the first chapter. This memoir speaks to anyone who left “back there” for the big city, but realizes they never quite got away.
Narrated by Abby Craden.
"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." Booklist
"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." Kirkus Reviews
“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
"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