I’ve been watching for the results of the 2011 High Plains Book Awards ever since reading Dakota or What’s a Heaven For by Brenda K. Marshall, a native North Dakotan who grew up in the Red River Valley near Fargo. Marshall was nominated in the Best Woman Writer category. The awards were presented on Saturday, October 15, in Billings, Montana. Although I am sorry to say that Brenda Marshall did not win in her category, I know that being nominated is a terrific honor.
I highly recommend Marshall’s book! It is a historical novel set in Dakota Territory beginning in 1874. I read it this summer after it was selected as the 2011 North Dakota Library Association Conference Book Club book. I’m so glad I did. It is beautifully written and I learned much about frontier politics, the Northern Pacific Railroad, bonanza farming, homesteading, and the lives of women who have dreams and desires of their own. At the NDLA conference, Marshall was also on hand to lead the book club discussion and was a luncheon speaker.
The other North Dakotan honored at the awards was Larry Woiwode, who received the 2011 Emeritus Award. He is a farmer, professor, North Dakota’s Poet Laureate, and an award-winning writer whose many books have received critical acclaim. You can find several of them at the BSC Library.
To find books by Woiwode as well as several other High Plains Book Award winners and nominees, use the ODIN library catalog.