On a Clear Night: Essays from the Heartland (Paperback)
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In this dazzling collection, best-selling author Marnie O. Mamminga details the common experiences that unite those of us who live, love, and work in the heart of the country. With insight and humor, Mamminga chronicles a wide range of small but significant everyday moments: the anxiety of taking a teenager out for driving lessons, the nostalgic pleasure of watching the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the heartache of moving an aging parent into a nursing home, and the quiet bliss of sitting on a cabin’s porch, listening for loons and wolves under the Northwoods’ starry sky.
Combining elements of the personal and the universal, these essays chart the passage of time from childhood to adulthood, sickness to health, working life to retirement, parenthood to grandparenthood, and everything in between. These sharply observed vignettes highlight the importance of taking time to appreciate the ordinary occurrences that profoundly shape our lives and the places we call home.
About the Author
Marnie Mamminga has been a professional essayist and features writer for more than twenty years. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, and numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is a frequent presenter at writers’ workshops, including the UW’s Wisconsin Writers’ Institute. Her first book with the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, was chosen by Parade Magazine as one of the best reads of summer 2012, and was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio’s "Chapter A Day" series.
The author of Chicken Soup for the Soul lets her Midwest roots show in On a Clear Night. The essay collection includes reflections on a night in a North Woods cabin and kayaking on Wisconsin lakes, but it’s no travelogue. Marnie O. Mamminga finds illumination in sharing “our similar everyday moments.” Her quotidian wisdom is expressed in perfect pitch with words well-chosen and a decided lack of drama. Some of her most moving essays concern aging—the realization that the flowers of youth have wilted and are pressed between wax paper. “But does that mean we have to look like duds?” she asks while searching for a dress to wear to her daughter’s wedding. (David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express May 23, 2017)