• Title: The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere
  • Author: Debra Marquart
  • ISBN: 9781582433455
  • Page: 122
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Horizontal World Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere An evocative memoir of growing up on a family farm in rural North Dakota on land her family had worked for generations reflects on her desire to escape the difficult life her relationship with and
    An evocative memoir of growing up on a family farm in rural North Dakota, on land her family had worked for generations, reflects on her desire to escape the difficult life, her relationship with and admiration for her father, and the influence of place on personal identity.

    One Reply to “The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere”

    1. I grow tired of reading memoirs, since it's the quick and easy way to publish for tenure-hungry academics. But Marquart does something here that is unique, carefully tiptoeing self-indulgence for the greater ideas of history, legacy, land and place. Her history weaves with the landscape, with the legacies of the family and the struggles of place in such a way that you are drawn to that desolate place, hungry to discover its underlying waterway. What makes this piece so wonderful, aside from its [...]

    2. I enjoyed "The Horizontal World"; the writing was poetic, sensual, and lush and it compelled me. The memoir is about Marquart's troubled relationship to the small, rural world of North Dakota where she grew up. She does a fantastic job of evoking the strangeness of the agricultural, North Dakota landscape -- and why that was so strange to her. That aspect of the book really interested me. And she says some really interesting things about home, land, and sexuality. But the memoir was also disjoin [...]

    3. North Dakota is a land of extremes. Extreme cold weather in the winter, with snow piled high. Extreme hot and humid weather in summer with a sea of praire grass and crops blowing in the wind. North Dakota is inhabited by hearty people who are drawn to the land and landscape. Not everyone can survive here.Debra Marquart was born in North Dakota and raised on a farm that has passed through four generations. Beginning with her great grandfather who emigrated from Russia in the late 1800's, to Deb's [...]

    4. A beautiful memoir.(p. 49) "Years later, this son will become minorly famous--wildly famous in this county--when he makes it onto the 'Lawrence Welk Show.' He'll be groomed as the new accordian maestro, the heir apparent to Myron Floren, who was the heir apparent to Lawrence Welk. This is polka country, the deep vinegar core of the sauerkraut triangle. The accordian is our most soulful, ancestral instrument."

    5. If you're from the Great Plains or even its emerald edge, as I am, how can you not read a book with a cover like that which graces The Horizontal World, Growing up in the Middle of Nowhere: a Memoir?Debra Marquart (her family lost the traditional d somewhere on Ellis Island, she says) is, in some ways, the proverbial young rebel farm kid who cannot handle another minute on the back forty until, years later, almost as elegy, she comes to love that which she needed so wildly to leave. There's lots [...]

    6. I bought this book at a used bookstore a couple months ago based solely on the cover and the description on the book flap. I had read a few pages of it here and there put never really got into it. And then I picked it up again recently, started reading from the beginning, and became thoroughly consumed with her writing. I finished over half of the book in that first day, and the rest of it by the end of the week. She touches on a number of ideas around growing up in the Midwest that I am just be [...]

    7. As a native North Dakotan, I can say that this book, at least in the chapters regarding North Dakota, is spot on in capturing the essence of life on the prairie in the late 2oth century.I had the extreme pleasure of listening to the author speak at Bismarck State College, and get an autographed copy for myself and for my daughter. My daughter, like the author, was all too eager to leave the state. My hope is that she, like the author, may one day realize just what she left behind when she viewed [...]

    8. This book is beautiful and painful and sensuous. Another reviewer referred to the people who inhabit North Dakota as hearty; which is true, but we are also hardy. Deb traces her ancestry with beautifully told stories of success and agonizing depictions of the horrors of her immigrant grandparents. Being from North Dakota myself, I can understand Deb’s love of the land and landscape. It is important to know that while the setting of this book is North Dakota, the familial relationships woven th [...]

    9. I loved this book. I knew nothing about North or even South Dakota. Her style of writing was so different and interesting that I came away understanding a bit about her life and her choices.

    10. Marquart's family has been on their land in North Dakota for generations—her great-grandfather established the farm, got it running, made a success of it. Marquart, as the youngest and a girl, was raised without the expectation that she would be the one to take the helm after her father; she was raised with roots but with the option to uproot. (Which plants flourish best where they took seed, and which can take wing?)For what it's worth, two points of comparison: The Guynd and The Orchard. Bot [...]

    11. Well, I didn't feel that this book was sewn together as neatly as I would have liked, and there were definitely parts that seemed out of place, but there were lovely pieces as well. Here are a couple of my favorite paragraphs:“There at that supper table I learned to listen. As the youngest child, I was at play in a field that everyone around me had long ago mastered. But listeners have their place in stories as do laughers, a job my grandmother took on. Without listeners and laughers, stories [...]

    12. I am not entirely sure what to think about this one. I was asked to read it for work (I work for a small liberal arts college) as they are doing a campus learning experience around this book.I think she is a really great writer, wonderful imagery, and this book was an interesting and quick read. I also enjoyed her often mentioning different "midwest" cultural aspects, which I can certainly identify with.I was initially a little put off by the description of this book as I thought it might be mid [...]

    13. I was connected to Fargo's literary "scene" many years ago and first encountered Marquart as a writer of poetry. I would classify her as a poet, who also writes prose. She writes with a poet's style, infused with rich language, metaphors, and details.In her story of growing up in a small-town in North Dakota, Marquart weaves in references to literature, to geology, to history that help us understand where she is from, but also show the connectedness of all these disparate things; timeless and un [...]

    14. To be honest, I couldn't finish this book. I had read a chapter from here last summer and absolutely loved it, and marked it as a must-read. When my professor suggested that I read it, I couldn't wait to start. I'm really bummed that I didn't like it nearly as much as I thought I would. I appreciate Debra's writing, but it did not keep my attention. I rarely ever leave a book unfinished, but the first one hundred pages I read was a huge history and background on North Dakota that I thought she t [...]

    15. Debra Marquart's humorous and tender and sometimes alarming partial memoir about growing up in rural North Dakota, and all the baggage (and longing) that occurred during her formative years. She couldn't wait to escape but keeps coming back. A poignant portrait of "home" for someone who has spent most of her adult life in other places, but is still rooted on her family's land.

    16. I suppose, for those who didn't grow up in this kind of rurality, Marquart's childhood world seems almost exotic and astonishing. Even so, the author owes us more insight and better metaphors than the juxtaposition of a flaming grain silo with her quest to lose her virginity (sound of ringing gong here). I still have a little more than half the book to go and have so far been unimpressed, or better yet I find her book notable for it's volume of chaff. I expected more from "the Director of the Io [...]

    17. I not being from an farming background found this book fascinating. Living in Iowa and watching the growing seasons for some twenty years now and hearing of the glacier fields and rocks that keep coming to the surface, and the century farms around my house made this book all the more enjoyable. My daughter asked me to read it, and the references about going shopping and the child having one view on fashion and the mom having an economic view was identifiable. Watching Lawrence Welk on Saturday n [...]

    18. Even though the author did not respond to a "fan email" I sent her with a request to meet with her while I was at Iowa State visiting my alma mater where she teaches, I LOVED this memoir. Loved it so much I wrote a critical essay about it for my MFA program. Here's a bit of what I wrote: From the moment I began reading The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere by Debra Marquart, I recognized it as the sort of book I would devour and one I want to write. The Horizontal World [...]

    19. As she grew up, Debra Marquart couldn't wait until she'd be old enough to leave the family farm in North Dakota, and all the hard work it required. She didn't know exactly what she wanted, but she knew she didn't want to be a farmer's wifed yet, although she became a musician, traveling across country with one rock band after another, eventually completing her education, going to grad school, and today working at Iowa State in Ames, she's unable to leave that dry, dusty ND land behind. This was [...]

    20. Crafted with poignancy and honesty. I simply loved this book. The author has a wonderful sense of place and clear descriptions that made her story so compelling. I felt strong kinship to Ms. Marquart's background as a girl of German-Russian parents who had made their living farming. In my case, it was my grandparents who farmed and in California rather than North Dakota, but my German Mennonite mom instilled in me the importance of knowing where one's food came from and the hard work that went w [...]

    21. I read this memoir for my college course "American Women of the West." Sadly, I was unimpressed. Marquart rambled on about her boring life in North Dakota I felt I was reading a whiny account of a teenager the whole way through. And I myself am a teenager, so it's obvious to me that she went over the top when explaining her "dull" western life. The book made me want to never step foot in North Dakota Or read another Marquart book. It ended with a moral, which was kind of along the lines of "Keep [...]

    22. Having myself grown up in (suburban) North Dakota and moved away after high school, I was especially interested in reading Debra Marquart’s account of the “middle of nowhere”. I think she captures well the universal conflict of return that anyone who leaves home wrestles with as an adult, and the particular one which comes from living in, and leaving, this under-populated and under-known northern state. Her inclusion of the history and landscape of the area -- while sometimes awkward -- he [...]

    23. This is the kind of book everyone wants to produce when their topic is their own life. Well, actually it's the kind of book everyone with literary training wants to produce in that situation. No listlike "and then I" but a nest of interconnected essays.Particularly suited to chapter-by-chapter reading, mostly because each chapter could potentially stand alone. It's better to present them together, though. You get the full context.I never lived in North Dakota and am pretty sure I've never even d [...]

    24. "So you have to keep an eye on family stories, lest they fall through the crack between the two worlds."having hitchhikes thru north dakota when i was 18, i picked up this book because i was drawn to the image of the haybales glowing against the flat horizon. i remember that same image vividly and how wide open and free that land felt. to hear the story of the land - and the people living there - brought me back to that experience in a new way. i also appreciated the authors ability to look back [...]

    25. The Horizontal World transported to another landscape. Though I have never physically been to North Dakota Debra Marquart's words created a pickup truck to drive me there, to the farmlands and the prairies. So visual, so sense-filled, with smoke and diesel and leatherbound books, she gifts the pages with a seventh sense, which allows us to see all the way to the grain elevator and back again. So many roots--the grandmothers and the weathered photographs--what rich complex earth made the author i [...]

    26. Beautiful writing, some sections so powerful, I underlined and read again. These provide a good sense of her home landscape of North Dakota and how various landscapes help create what we think and do and even turn away from. Some of the strongest sections showed life on a farm. My only complaint is that this is clearly an essay collection versus a memoir--calling it a "memoir" may have been the publisher's choice, but I used this with writing classes and the students kept wanting more connective [...]

    27. Memoirists take note - my patience is running thin with you lot. Memoir/personal non-fiction is one of my not-so-secret loves but only, and I do repeat only, when there is a point to it. Simply stringing together some essays on your life under some vague over-arching themes ain't going to do it. I picked this one up because having grown-up on the Canadian Prairies, I am a sucker for wide-open spaces like North Dakota. But too long, too loose and most importantly - WHY? Why this book, this person [...]

    28. I suspect much of this material may not ring true to suburbanites and city mice but having also been raised on a farm in the Dakotas, about an hour south of the author's, I feel that she gets so many details right: Saturday nights of L. Welk, families coming together to butcher chickens in July, gravel pit parties and the grinding and often dangerous chores of farm kids. I enjoyed this book b/c it was so relatable - others might also appreciate the common themes of flight and return. Also recomm [...]

    29. I met the author at the North Dakota Library Association's conference in the fall of 2006. I bought the book because I wanted to support a local author and because the cover is so damn pretty! Yes I judged the book by it's cover.It's a fantastic book and a bittersweet memoire of the author's life growing up on the plains of North Dakota and her struggle to fall in love with the place she grew up in. I love the details of this book. I was able to imagine myself with her in North Dakota as she was [...]

    30. I'm just now reading Debra's memoir full of ancestral connection and ode to place. So far, it hasn't been messy with my bringing a whole lot into it, like interjecting similarities or making comparisons. For others this may be distracting-the ones that grew up on a farm or had sisters or came from large families and the country life. I'm pretty sure this is one of the reasons I like memoirs. I want truth. My story is made up mostly of fiction. Skilled writers can put ideas in my head, that this [...]

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