Winter 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 1 Nonfiction |

Everywhere at Once, 1903

Author's Note: The following excerpt is adapted from The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change (Indiana University Press, Spring 2013), a hybrid nonfiction text that draws on nearly one thousand primary documents tracing the intersecting lives of an extended Midwest family over more than a century. Bessie was my great-aunt, who, in 1904, would marry Santford Cosby, though she had not met Sant at the time of the 1903 letters. Her younger sister, Sylvia, was my maternal grandmother, only fourteen years old in 1903; she would marry Arthur Sanders in 1912. Bessie and Sylvia's mother was Hattie Mounts, a midwife who supplemented the family's meager income by raising turkeys on a three-acre homestead behind Wildcat Creek outside Lafayette, Indiana. Reading the hundreds of letters my ancestors exchanged is a journey through space and time. No, not through. Through, as Great-grandma Hattie would have said, "does not begin to answer the task." Rather, this

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Rebecca McClanahan
Rebecca McClanahan has published ten books of nonfiction, poetry, and writing instruction. Recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Pushcart Prize, and the Glasgow Award for nonfiction, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University–Charlotte and Ranier Writing Workshop. She was the 2015 writer in residence at Hollins University. 

Website:
www.RebeccaMcClanahanWriter.com

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Author's Note: The following excerpt is adapted from The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change (Indiana University Press, Spring 2013), a hybrid nonfiction text […]

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