The Great Plains has long been fertile ground for literature. The Nature of the Place is a comprehensive study of novels and stories by such Plains writers as Willa Cather, Wright Morris, Mari Sandoz, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frederick Manfred, Wallace Stegner, and Bess Streeter Aldrich. Throughout, Diane Dufva Quantic is aware of the region’s collective social and cultural history—aware of the immensely fruitful clash between that complex history and Plains myth (such as “Garden of the World” and “Great American Desert”). In the vast and changeable Great Plains, as Wright Morris once remarked, “Many things would come to pass, but the nature of the place would remain a matter of opinion.”
Diane Dufva Quantic is an associate professor of English and director of the writing program at Wichita State University.
1996 Society of Midland Authors Award, sponsored by the Society of Midland Authors, adult non-fiction category winner