The Prairie in Her Eyes by Ann Daum
The Breaking and Making of a Dakota Rancher

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Reared on her father’s 13,000-acre spread, Ann Daum is now a rancher herself, raising sport horses and hoping to sustain a relationship to place in which self-reliance is not intertwined with cruelty, and closeness to the land does not imply hatred of the wild. Daum’s essays rise and fall with the undulations of the prairie and can be as forceful as the South Dakota weather. Her warm memories of being a little girl on the ranch and listening to her father tell stories contrast sharply with her recollections of the captive coyote she set free one night and the ranch hand whose casual brutality extended from the killing of wild creatures to sexual predation. Daum writes not only about the artifacts buried in the prairie soil but also about what lies hidden in the lives of the prairie’s residents.

About Ann Daum

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Published June 9, 2001 by Milkweed Editions. 220 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Prairie in Her Eyes

Kirkus Reviews

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What becomes grating, though, is her high, lonesome, and spare voice, which in its mimicry of place feels posed: “I learned about silence from the land” or “at night I dream of coyotes.” A stifling and heartless tale: Daum isn’t sorry to see the demise of her childhood way of life, but she cannot...

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Publishers Weekly

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Through a series of engaging vignettes, poetic descriptions and insightful character studies, Daum's memoir evokes the harsh beauty of life in the modern American West.

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ForeWord Reviews

The guests held on to the dashboard, door handles, each other.” Daum also tells of the not-so-pleasant facts of life on the prairie—the wary dance between its inhabitants and the untamed wildlife, the death of domesticated animals and innocence.

Jun 15 2001 | Read Full Review of The Prairie in Her Eyes: The ...

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