Like the two previous anthologies created by editors Linda Hasselstrom, Gaydell Collier and Nancy Curtis, Leaning into the Wind and Woven on the Wind, Crazy Woman Creek gathers hundreds of poems, stories and memories from women all across the West. This latest anthology’s theme is how Western women create and sustain the connections that define community.
whose voices fill these pages are not all professional writers.
They’re ranch wives, compulsive gamblers, school board
members and nuns, with stories to share that range from
heart-wrenching to hilarious. They’re tough, compassionate,
sassy and wise.
B.J. Buckley’s poem epitomizes
Western women rallying to help each other. An exhausted ranch wife
comes in late to the laundromat with piles of filthy clothes from
calf branding. The other women abandon their own laundry to help
with hers, then clean the mud off her pickup. Finally, they
"(stand) that girl in the laundry sink (and wash) her down like a
county fair horse," then dress her up in sparkly prom gown and
strappy heels. As she drives off, one of them comments, "if we ever
see her again, we oughta ask her last name, I guess."
Stories such as this one show us how to weave both old-timers and
newcomers into the weft of community, how to foster neighborliness.
As one contributor notes, whether longtime resident or recent
arrival, traditional rancher or modem cowgirl, those of us in the
West "love the same place, and want the same thing."
Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American
Edited by Linda M. Hasselstrom, Gaydell Collier and
300 pages, softcover: $14.00
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
Dang crazy women
You can buy this book and help High Country News, too.
BookSense.com is an on-line family of independent booksellers in communities near you. When you use the link below to buy a book through BookSense.com, you'll not only support local booksellers, you'll also help us: Five-and-a-half percent of each purchase goes to High Country News.