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The Woman Without A Voice. Louise Farmer Smith

Author Louise Smith announces new book set in Oklahoma, THE WOMAN WITHOUT A VOICE, Pioneering in Dugout, Sod House and Homestead (pub date 9/29/2017.) This non-fiction account of my family’s struggle during the drought and Panic of 1893 which destroyed their Nebraska farm continues as they flee to Oklahoma Territory to begin life in a dugout near Weatherford.
Press Release:

Who Speaks for the Mother?

In 2017 we mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Laura Ingles Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie and other beloved books told from the point of view of the child. But what was the pioneer mother, Mrs. Ingles, thinking throughout all that cabin-building, well-digging and then abandoning their home to start over in an even lonelier place?

The Woman Without a Voice by Louise Farmer Smith reveals through women’s diaries the fears of pioneer women who, in obedience to their husbands, left their homes to take their children into a wilderness. “And this is my story,” Smith writes, “as I’ve tried to uncover the mysteries of the pioneer women in my own family—Ida, Mary Lillian, Zoe, and Phebe Ann, the one they left behind.” 

This riveting memoir opens when drought and the Panic of 1893 destroy Smith’s great grandfather’s Nebraska farm. Pressure from the bank leads to the auction of their equipment and animals and their move to a claim in western Oklahoma Territory where they begin life in a dugout. This book, which contains 17 family and other antique photos, is propelled by the mystery of Phebe Ann, the mother of the family, who is left behind. Smith traces her fate through records from the Lincoln Asylum.\\

  • “Louise Farmer Smith has written a part of history we aren’t taught in classrooms....the true resilience of her female ancestors....heartbreaking, moving and ultimately inspiring memoir about the strength of women.”
  • JoAnna Woolridge Wall, J.D. Lecturer, Women and Gender Studies, University of Oklahoma  Husband and wife sat side by side on the wagon bench.... diaries suggest they lived in different worlds....
  • A compelling anyone considering writing their family’s often complex and difficult history.”
    Lisa Kendrick, Librarian, Genealogical Center, Albuquerque, NM

Smith, a PEN\New England Discovery winner, grew up in Oklahoma, majored in Letters and earned two masters degrees from Yale and Goddard. She later trained in family therapy, and worked for a US congressman. She was a Bread Loaf Fellow in 2005. Her work has been supported by the Ragdale  Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Two of her stories received Pushcart nominations. Her novel, One Hundred Years of Marriage, was a finalist for the Prairie Heritage Award, 2015. Her prize-winning stories appeared in five anthologies and in her collection, Cadillac, Oklahoma.

The Woman Without A Voice is available 9/29/2017 from Upper Hand Press.
For more information:
614-886-2462 for sales. 202-543-2899 for interviews.