A Summer to Be
"A Summer to Be is an intimate glimpse at Garland's life during the twentieth century when the radical realist became a conservative arbiter of literary standards and when the roving bachelor became a loving father and a controlling patriarch. . . . In editing this work, Keith Newlin has performed a great literary service, his Introduction and notes providing the context that unifies the work." --Roark Mulligan, Studies in American Naturalism

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A Summer to Be

A Memoir by the Daughter of Hamlin Garland

By Isabel Garland Lord
     Edited and Introduction by Keith Newlin
     Foreword by Victoria Doyle-Jones

University of Nebraska Press, 2010

ISBN 9780803232433

In A Summer to Be, Isabel Garland Lord writes an honest and revealing memoir of what it was like to grow up in the shadow of her famous father, the pioneering realist Hamlin Garland, whose first collection of stories, Main-Travelled Roads (1891), shocked the nation in its unabashed portrait of harsh Midwestern farms.  Lord unveils a hitherto unknown side of her fatheróthe intensely-loving, domineering patriarch whose deep love for his eldest daughter led him to change the trajectory of his career even as that love impeded his daughterís independence.  It is the story of a girl brought up among her fatherís famous friends, enjoying all the advantages of celebrity even as she rebelled against her fatherís loving domination.  Written in the 1960s and now published for the first time, A Summer to Be movingly weaves a story of Lordís own coming of age that is also a snapshot of American literary culture of the first decades of the twentieth century. Part memoir and part autobiography, A Summer to Be records a daughterís gradual emergence from her devoted and possessive father; it is a story full of moments of revelation and intrigue, betrayal and guilt, and ultimately the joy of self-discovery.

Cover of 2008 Whitston edition