Women in the West

March 14th, 2012 , Posted by reamanm

We can’t let March and Women's History Month pass without highlighting some remarkable books that unveil and celebrate women’s experiences in the West.

to the WoodsIn her 2011 WILLA Award winning memoir, To the Woods, Evelyn Searle Hess describes the challenges and lessons of building a new life in the wild foothills of Oregon’s coast range. An elegant tour of the natural history of place through the seasons, To the Woods is also an exploration of sustainable living and the joys of simplicity.

Peace at HeartPeace at Heart, an Oregon Book Award finalist, also celebrates the everyday gifts of rural life in Oregon. In it, poet and teacher Barbara Drake reflects on ten years spent birthing lambs, raising geese, and making wine on a farm in Yamhill Valley.

PotluckAna Maria Spagna delves into the nature of community in her newest collection of essays, Potluck.  Her earlier collection, Now Go Home, takes the reader on her journey from her childhood home in California to a new chosen home in the Pacific Northwest's North Cascades.

Light on DevilsLouise Wagenknecht describes life in a remote logging town as a teenager in the 1960s in her new memoir, Light on the Devils. She shares her unique perspective as a longtime Forest Service employee and “takes an unflinching view backward at the complicity of well-meaning government in the excesses of industrial forestry,” notes author Robin Cody.

Child of Steens coverIn another childhood memoir, Child of Steens Mountain, Eileen O'Keeffe McVicker paints, with her collaborator Barbara J. Scot, a vivid portrait of her girlhood in eastern Oregon.

The stories of three prominent Northwest women—Betty Roberts, Avel Louise Gordly, and Barbara Roberts—are preserved thanks to the Women and Politics in the Northwest series, edited by Portland State University's Melody Rose.  

Remembering   With Grit   Up the Capitol

We invite you to explore our website and discover more Northwest women's voices and stories, from Abigail Scott Duniway to Hazel Hall, from Eva Emery Dye to Beatrice Morrow Cannady.

You'll find additional materials about Oregon women online at the Oregon Historical Society. Check out the display and Flickr set at the Oregon Multicultural Archives, which features Erlinda V. Gonzalez-Berry and Deanna Kingston, along with other amazing women from OSU.

Related Titles

Mexicanos in Oregon

This important volume sheds new light on the stories and lives of mexicanos in Oregon: why migrants come to Oregon fields, construction sites, and warehouses...

| paperback | $22.95

Light on the Devils

When Louise Wagenknecht’s family arrived in the remote logging town of Happy Camp in 1962, a boundless optimism reigned. Whites and Indians worked together in...

| paperback | $19.95

Up the Capitol Steps

Up the Capitol Steps is a personal and political memoir by Oregon’s first (and only) woman governor, one of only thirty-four women who have served...

| paperback | $24.95

A Force for Change

A Force for Change is the first full-length study of the life and work of one of Oregon’s most dynamic civil rights activists, African American...

| paperback | $24.95

Remembering the Power of Words

Remembering the Power of Words recounts the personal and professional journey of Avel Gordly, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate. The...

| paperback | $18.95


In Potluck, Ana Maria Spagna explores the enduring human connection to place, journeying from Tijuana to a California beach to Utah’s canyon country—and, always, back...

| paperback | $18.95

Eva Emery Dye

Writing in the early years of the 20th century, novelist Eva Emery Dye captured the imagination of American readers with her epic accounts of the...

| paperback | $24.95

Yours for Liberty

"When women's true history shall have been written, her part in the upbuilding of this nation will astound the world." —Abigail Scott Duniway Between 1871...

| paperback | $21.95

With Grit and By Grace

In the 1950s, Betty Roberts did what most of her contemporaries considered audacious and inappropriate when she returned to college as a 32-year-old wife and...

| paperback | $24.95

Peace at Heart

Finalist for the Oregon Book Award, 1998 Many dream of leaving the city for a new life in the country. Few follow that dream. In...

| paperback | $18.95

Now Go Home

Now Go Home tells the story of how a quintessential California girl ended up earning her living in the Pacific Northwest with a crosscut saw...

| paperback | $18.95

The Collected Poems of Hazel Hall

On the 100th anniversary of her debut poetry collection, Curtains, first published in 1920, Hazel Hall’s reputation as a major Oregon poet endures. During her...

| paperback | $19.95

Child of Steens Mountain

For Eileen O'Keeffe McVicker, born in 1927 to an Irish immigrant sheep rancher and a schoolteacher, growing up on a homestead made for "a hard...

| paperback | $16.95

To the Woods

2011 WILLA Award in Creative Nonfiction To the Woods is a tale of adventure, inspiration, and living life in concert with nature. It is the...

| paperback | $18.95

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