Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression


Product Details

$17.00  $15.81
Publish Date
5.58 X 8.26 X 0.56 inches | 0.73 pounds

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About the Author

Mildred Kalish, the author of Little Heathens, was a retired professor of English who grew up in Garrison, Iowa, and taught at several colleges, including the University of Iowa, Adelphi University, and Suffolk Community College. She was awarded Best Emerging Author at the Iowa Authors Award and received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from her alma mater, the University of Iowa. Mildred Kalish died in 2023.


"This lovely book, so unaffected and so generous, opens the door to a past I knew as a child in Iowa, and I wept with joy and recognition as I read it. It deserves a distinguished place next to Hamlin Garland's Son of the Middle Border but, with its deep humility, it would also fit, without a single word of protest, next to the Betty Crocker Cookbook."--Ted Kooser, U. S. poet laureate, 2004-2006

"Little Heathens is an enchanting but thoroughly unsentimental look at rural life in the Great Depression. In clear clean prose we are offered the grit, struggle, and also the joy of hard work on a farm. I cherish this book for its quite naked honesty and quiet lyricism about a time which makes our current problems nearly childish. This is a fine book."--Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall

"Now that cell phones are a way of life, you won't find a better way to participate in the Good Old Days. Whether you are of farm origins or not, Little Heathens is a bit of history begging to be borrowed. Like a neighborly cup of sugar, it will sweeten your modern-day life."--MaryJane Butters, author of MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook for the Farmgirl In All Of Us

"Using this book alone, one could reconstruct, with glorious exactness, a lost time and place. Mildred Kalish has a novelist's eye for detail and a beautiful understanding of what the gestures of daily life mean. A lovely, wise, transporting memoir."--Joan Silber, author of Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories

"Not only trustworthy and useful, but also polished by real, rare happiness. It is a very good book, indeed. In fact, it's averyveryverygoodbook."--New York Times Book Review

"Unpretentious yet deeply intelligent ... [Little Heathens] radiates the joy of a vanished way of life.... In prose that never yields to mawkish sentimentality, Kalish details the roles of family, religion, thrift, and education in her upbringing."-Booklist

"Not only trustworthy and useful, but also polished by real, rare happiness. It is a very good book, indeed. In fact, it's averyveryverygoodbook."--Elizabeth Gilbert, The New York Times Book Review

"Little Heathens made me ache for my own Depression-era Grandma, with her hand-cranked clothes wringer and her North Dakotan speech tut-tutting.... This is a book to awaken your family's own half-remembered stories - or better, to send you back to your elders to scour up your own."--Cleveland Plain Dealer