Woman of the Plains is invaluable with insights into a time and place and group of people who were, in and of themselves, unique in their purpose and vision. This is an important discovery . . . a significant achievement and contribution to both the scholarship and the body of belles lettres of Texas the the Southwest.
“Perry polished her accounts for an intended audience, but her keen descriptions of the landscape, weather conditions, bonds between neighbors, frontier hospitality and much more compensate for a loss of intimate reflection. Editor Teichmann has done a fine job in making these glimpses of Texas frontier life available to the public.”
“The publication of Nellie Perry’s compositions is the culmination of an extensive archival research project by Teichmann, whose efforts to preserve this pioneer woman’s perspective of Panhandle Plains life at the turn of the century both enlarges and enriches the Texas historical record.
The Texas Writer’s Newsletter
“. . . readable and interesting; Teichmann supplements Perry’s account with excerpts from the writings of her neighbors and relatives in Ochiltree County, lending multi-dimensionality to the narrative of homesteading life. . . . natural gift for the American idiom. . . . This book is highly recommended for the historian and general reader alike.”
Journal of the West
“Teichmann’s collection thus grants readers access to a loose chronicle of a ranching community, from its sod houses to the formation of its first school board, on which Perry served as the only woman member.”
Great Plains Quarterly
“Her descriptive language creates a sense of place that enhances our perception of the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century settler’s life. Teichmann appropriately and respectfully presents these writings ‘for what they are’ without literary or historical criticism. These journals stand on their own merit and provide important insights from a woman’s perspective into the lives and ideas of early Texas Panhandle settlers.”
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
“A journal keeper who turned every entry into a good story. . . equally informative and interesting. Not only does Louisa Teas describe pioneer social life in careful detail, but she records her own survival as a resourceful and brave woman, who took care of two young sons on an isolated homestead after her ill husband goes back East to die. . . valuable addition to the records of early life in the Panhandle. Woman of the Plains provides yet another chapter of Panhandle history from the unique perspective of women who share their experiences in lively prose.”
Plains Historical Review
Sandra Gail is a highly original poet, rather astonishing in her honesty; she looks quite directly at experiences of discomfort, of alienation, of a sense of disconnection, and renders these emotions in unexpected ways. Her poems are frequently disturbing, and seem to take little as a given; she looks at each subject she examines with a kind of deadpan wonder.
Sandra Gail is a truly amazing poet! I read her work in wonderment and gratitude.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Killing Daddy is a complete jewel of a creation. Not like any other work it simply is; it stands by itself without outside reference, a work that possesses a sovereign self. Descriptions are poetic and beautiful, yet accurate "inscapes," perfectly perceived and retransmitted.
Forget the clichés and platitudes about Texas, West Texas and the Southwest, cowboys, horses and cows. Killing Daddy covers the Texas Panhandle and the southern plains from bedrock to cap rock with chiseled prose, clearly defined characters and crisp description. Drought, flood, flack blizzard and white sun are all here along with a family that most will consider their own and a story they will think is their memory. Yet, there's nothing simple about these people or their story that is wonderfully nuanced and limned.
Killing Daddy is a lyrical "whydunnit," the aching record of an under loved brood whose familial ties appear to have eroded like the Caprock escarpment nearby. The novel's characters are at once recognizable, not because they are the familiar stuff of fiction but because they are genuine stuff of life. Teichmann-Hillesheim has an ear for dialogue, an eye for the truth, and the heart to tell it all-all the tender and private moments that underscore the essential humanity of all families.
Killing Daddy turns the world of West Texas on its head. Teichmann-Hillesheim's brilliant experimental novel explores the cap rock country with new eyes and ears and senses. We see the old world of the West in bursts and flashes, in bits and pieces, and in simple stories. All these forms are mixed in a way to make new what we have always seen with the old eyes of the western.
James Ward Lee
Paperback Published 1998
Pecan Grove Press
available at Amazon
Paperback Published 2002
Panther Creek Press
available at Amazon