Nebraska Center for Writers

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Though she was born in Philadelphia, Mildred Walker did much for Nebraska. She was educated at Wells College (BA) and the University of Michigan (MA), where she won the Hopwood Award. She was a highly regarded chronicler of the modern American West and New England. Her novels, which were very popular in the 50's and 60's, have been reissued as Bison Books from the University of Nebraska Press, several edited and introduced by poet Ripley Hugo, widow of Richard Hugo. She once said, "I began writing in my early teens and by now it has become a way of life. Growing up in a parsonage, surrounded by books (and sermons) made me aware of the excitement and power of words and drew me inevitably toward writing. ... Some inborn sense of 'place' moved me to try to show, in narrative form, the effect of the natural world on human beings." Of her work, writer Charlotte Zoe Walker (no relation) says, "Her novel Winter Wheat is a classic, a bit in the vein of Cather's My Antonia. But my favorites are If a Lion Could Talk (about the relationship between a missionary and a community of Indians), and The Body of a Young Man." Mildred Walker lived in Portland, Oregon, where she passed away May 27, 1998.

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Nebraska Center for Writers