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North Dakota Quarterly - Summer 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 73 Number 3
  • Published Date: Summer 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly

While this journal’s academic covers do little to counter the misperception that the Plains are plain, NDQ’s ninety-six-year publishing history does. This issue’s highlight is “Holy Socks.” After her father, an Ohio minister, endured a lobotomy that permanently confined him to a hospital, Constance Studer, a nursing student, breaks hospital regulation to gather information and portrays a family broken by “the cure” as well as the fine line dividing some peoples’ spirituality from psychosis. “White Meat of Chicken, Flowing Streams of Milk” excerpts a memoir about a Southern expatriate’s life in the Dakota oilfields with his beloved Boston Terrier. “Overwintering in Fairbanks” recounts solitary Alaskan Erica Keiko Iseri’s slow healing and her aging dog’s equally belabored passing. Paramedic Dane Myers’ essay records, with pop-thrillerish blandness, how he was thrust into action once while driving to work. The essay “Ashes to Ashes” documents the way a friendship failed and searches the rubble for meaning. In this installment of NDQ’s occasional “Sea Changes: Books That Mattered” feature, a professor reflects how his undergraduate reaction to Paul Tillich’s The Courage to Be, and later poetry, shaped his current teaching technique and professional outlook, illustrating the difference between A+ work and an F- life. Besides abundant nonfiction, the genre-hopping Gary Finke enriches us with two stellar short-shorts, “The Plagues” and “Home Remedies.” Fans of the Plains and West will enjoy two of the ten book reviews: America’s 100th Meridian, a photo-essay book with text by William Kittredge, and Not Just Any Land, a memoir of psycho-geographical self-discovery wrapped around biographical encounters with four Plains nature writers: William Least-Heat Moon, Linda Hasselstrom, Dan O’Brien, Mary Swander. Ninety-seven years, here comes NDQ.

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Review Posted on January 31, 2007

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