Mary Woster Haug new book is family memoir

th-1Mary Woster Haug’s new book, “Daughters of the Grasslands,” is a compilation of memoirs of her family life.

“I grew up on the grasslands west of the Missouri River in South Dakota. I am the middle child of a Bohemian father, from whom I inherited a Gypsy spirit, and an Irish mother, who offered us the security of home. I write here of my childhood and the ways in which family, church and land have shaped me,” said Haug.

Haug is a regional and national published writer and taught in the English Department at South Dakota State University from August 1979 until retiring in May 2008. She worked briefly as an instructor until December 2010. A 1968 graduate in English, she added a master’s degree in English in 1976—both degrees coming from SDSU.

She explains that the book began during her time as an exchange professor at Chungnam National University in Daejeon, South Korea. The experience sparked memories of South Dakota.
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“When I witnessed an ancestor veneration ceremony, I remembered a prairie cemetery near my childhood farm. Standing at the DMZ brought back memories of a pond in a patch of grassland now plowed and planted with sorghum.”

“The chapters in this book are layered and interwoven explorations of several cohesive themes: coming to understand the past, cross-cultural experience, knowing oneself through becoming a stranger, and relations to the land and to the traditions of two different places, and the mother-daughter bond both as metaphor and theme,” stated author Kent Myers.

“Mary Haug’s book began simply as a record of a visit to a fascinating but alien world. As she delved more deeply into Korea’s culture, listening to its people, she began exploring parallels to her own upbringing in South Dakota. The result is a love song to all that is best about the people of both places and a testament to our faith in human nature,” said Linda Hasselstrom, author of “Windbreak: A Woman Rancher on the Northern Plains.”

The book, “Daughters of the Grasslands,” is available from Bottom Dog Press.

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