Heartland Portrait is the first self-portrait of a region to be written by its residents. This ground-breaking book is drawn from 18 years of Free River Press writing workshops in innesota, Wisconsin and Iowa wirth farm famiies, small twn and village residents, commercial fishermen, towboarts captains and pilots, and other living in the upper Mississpp Ruver Valley. It is a record of transformation of rral America, an ensemble of personal stories and reflections that document not only loss in rapidly changing times burt success in adapting and preserving a way of life.
Its sections include “Simple Times,” written by 86-year-old Clara Leppert about life before the coming of machinery and familes lived in cmmunity becasuse they needed one another. Other sections include «Icons and Emblems,” which reflect on those things (silos, aprons) and happenings (tornados) that were associated with rural life. Other sections include the farm crisis on the 1980s, the growth of land stewardship, descriptions of smal twn and village life, and finally, stories of work on the Mssissippi.
Altogether, Heartland Portrait is an important contribution to American culture, a record of rural life that is fast disappearing.