Publisher's Comments (cont.)
Practicing baseball with Dad, then watching him go after a cow with a pitchfork in a fit of rage. Playing chicken on the county road with semi trucks full of hogs. Flirting with the milkman. Chasing with your sisters after Wreck and Bump, mangy mutts who prowl farmsteads killing chickens and drinking fuel oil. Dandelion wine. The ghost of a girl buried alive over a century ago. These unforgettable, sometimes hilarious images spill from a fierce and wondrous childhood into the pages of The Summer of Ordinary Ways.
“Helget wrings intensity from the seemingly mundane—a family farm, the kitchen, a sleepy Midwestern town—to recreate a past that lives on somewhere between a dream and a nightmare. In The Summer of Ordinary Ways, every detail is authentic and resonant, every moment feels lived. Helget’s debut is nothing short of remarkable.” —Rosellen Brown, author of Tender Mercies “Marvelous, vibrant, and full of gritty energy, carrying the reader on a breathless ride across hills and valleys of pain, humor, and redemption.”—Faith Sullivan, author of The Cape Ann “Written with blistering beauty, this fierce memoir is an elegy for broken spirits—human and animal—and a prayer for those able to face their past. ” —Bart Schneider, author of Beautiful Inez “After Helget lulls you with the simplicity so often mistakenly ascribed to country life, she takes your breath away with the sheer power and poetry of her emotional integrity.”—Booklist (starred review) “In precise, cadenced prose, this gifted young author has taken the messiest of lives and fashioned something beautiful.”—People magazine (Critic’s Choice, four stars)
Nicole Lea Helget studies and teaches at Minnesota State University–Mankato. She is the winner of the 2004 Speakeasy Prize for Prose. This is her first book.