Forgotten Texts

New Titles (2020-2021)

Helen Brent, M.D. (1892)

Annie Nathan Meyer

Introduction by

Stephanie Peebles Tavera

Annie Nathan Meyer’s 1892 novel Helen Brent, M.D. narrates one woman’s struggle for public acceptance as a doctor and a lady among the New York City elite. Unlike earlier works of medical fiction, Helen Brent M.D. does not offer just a marriage-or-career narrative but also a treatise on sex education. Dr. Brent is a skilled surgeon, a New Woman, who also deals with the negative effects of venereal diseases and other social ills of the urban elite on women’s health.

ISBN 978-1-942885-58-0 | paperback | 206 pages | $10.99

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Six Trees (1903)

Mary Wilkins Freeman

Introduction by Cécile Roudeau

The narrator of one of the stories in Mary Wilkins Freeman’s 1903 collection Six Trees asks, “A man may cut down a tree and plant one. Who knows what effect the tree may have upon the man, to his raising or undoing?” While the stories in this collection explore several themes common to regional literature of New England, such as capitalism and gender, trees are at the center of the book. The Elm Tree, the White Birch, the Great Pine, the Balsam Fir, the Lombardy Poplar, and the Apple-Tree ask readers to consider the relationship between humans and the natural world.

ISBN 978-1-942885-37-5 | paperback | 206 pages | $10.99

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The Big Town (1921)

Ring W. Lardner

Introduction by Ross K. Tangedal

Ring W. Lardners 1921 satirical collection The Big Town follows nouveau riche Midwestern couple Tom and Ella Finch from their hometown of South Bend, Indiana, to New York City. Their goal? To see life and get Ellas sister Katie a husband. Far from a simple revolt from the village, the Finches' journey provides plenty of comic material for Lardners sharp, satiric critique of the urban/rural divide in 1920s America.

ISBN 978-1-942885-60-3 | paperback | 174 pages | $9.99

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Catalog

The Triumph of the Egg (1921)

Sherwood Anderson

Introduction by Aaron C. Babcock and Kristin M. Distel

The Triumph of the Egg, Sherwood Anderson’s 1921 collection of poems and short stories, focuses on the alienating and disruptive moments of American small-town life. Similar in tone to its more famous sibling—Winesburg, Ohio—Triumph focuses on the driving issues of the early 20th-century Midwest: modernization, increasing industrialization, the growth of big business, and the Great Migration.

ISBN 978-1-942885-62-7 | paperback | 272 pages | $12.99

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Santa Lucia: A Common Story (1908)

Mary Austin

Introduction by Maribel Morales

Set in a small college town in California, Mary Austin’s 1908 novel Santa Lucia explores the limited options available to women in early 20th century America. Focusing on the married lives of three young women—William Caldwell, Serena Lindley, and Julia Stairs—the novel is a feminist look at marriage. Like Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel The Awakening, Santa Lucia was almost resoundingly rejected by critics in its own day for the seemingly immoral suggestion that women could find happiness and fulfillment outside their own marriages.

ISBN 978-1-942885-12-2 | paperback | 247 pages | $9.99

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Alexander’s Bridge (1912)

Willa Cather

Introduction by Susan A. Schiller

Bartley Alexander is slowly being buried alive, unable to bridge the gap between his successful life and the freedom he thought success would bring. An important career, a caring wife, a lovely home—these just aren’t enough for Bartley. Torn between duty and desire, he realizes too late that when you flirt with disaster, disaster might just flirt back. Originally published in 1912, Alexander’s Bridge is Willa Cather’s first novel.

ISBN 978-1-942885-00-9 | paperback | 164 pages | $9.99

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One of Ours (1922)

Willa Cather

Introduction by Harmony Jankowski

Willa Cather’s One of Ours (1922) may have won a Pulitzer Prize, but it remains one of her most controversial novels. What, her critics ask, does a woman know about war? Inspired by the death of her cousin G.P. Cather in the fighting of WWI, Cather traces the trajectory of protagonist Claude Wheeler from Nebraska farmer to U.S. soldier. Based on G.P.’s own letters and Cather’s meticulous research, One of Ours asks readers to confront the harsh realities of war through Claude’s experiences. Joining the army allows Claude to escape his bitter life, but what he finds in war is no less disappointing.

ISBN 978-1-942885-23-8 | paperback | 360 pages | $10.99

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The Abandoned Farmers (1920)

Irvin S. Cobb

Introduction by Hannah Biggs

Irvin S. Cobb was a beloved celebrity and jack-of-all-trades in early 20th-century America. Journalism, humor writing, acting . . . you name it, he could do it. In the 1920 non-fiction comedy The Abandoned Farmers, he describes his latest profession—farming. What could go wrong when a couple of city dwellers go back to the land to renovate an abandoned farm? A lot, apparently. A trail-blazer in American agrarian humor, The Abandoned Farmers is a gentle parody of the city-country divide.

ISBN 978-1-942885-41-2 | paperback | 208 pages | $9.99

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A Hoosier Holiday (1916)

Theodore Dreiser

Introduction by Rachael Price

Nostalgic scenes and quaint characters. That’s what Theodore Dreiser expects to find when he sets off from New York City on a road trip with friend Franklin Booth to explore the Indiana of his childhood. What he finds is a rural countryside on the cusp of dramatic social and technological changes. In A Hoosier Holiday (1916), a forerunner to the American road novel, reality competes with nostalgia as writer Dreiser and illustrator Booth offer insightful meditations on rural America at the beginning of the 20th century.

ISBN 978-1-942885-31-3 | paperback | 460 pages | $13.99

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The Trail of the Loup (1906)

H.W. Foght

Introduction by William Beachly

Harold W. Foght’s 1906 book The Trail of the Loup is a gem of Nebraska history. In addition to chapters on natural history, early politics, and the settlement of the Loup River area, Foght’s book is a treasure trove of historical gossip and tales of pioneer hardship. With more than 140 restored images—historic maps, drawings, and photographs—this edition will be an invaluable resource for genealogists and explorers of the Loup River Valley.

ISBN 978-1-942885-29-0 | paperback | 378 pages | $13.99

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The Ground-Swell (1919)

Mary Hallock Foote

Introduction by Maribel Morales

Katherine Cope is twenty-seven years old and is striking out on her own. The year is 1914 and she is a New Woman, a woman of modern ideas and modern times. Told through the eyes of her mother, Lucy Cope, The Ground-Swell reflects the age-old conflict of mothers and daughters balancing the generational divide, and tells of one mother’s struggles to accept the ground-swells of early 20th century America.

ISBN 978-1-942885-04-7 | paperback | 260 pages | $9.99

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The Wind in the Rose-Bush; And Other Stories of the Supernatural (1903)

Mary Wilkins Freeman

Introduction by Myrto Drizou

Mary Wilkins Freeman’s 1903 short-story collection The Wind in the Rose-Bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural is a masterpiece of regional gothic. Set in New England, the stories included in this collection explore the hidden and suppressed anxieties of women’s daily lives. From the vampire-like titular character in “Luella Miller” to the childless Mrs. Bird in “The Lost Ghost,” the women in these stories face the realities and horrors of domestic life at the turn of the twentieth century.

ISBN 978-1-942885-18-4 | paperback | 195 pages| $9.99

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Miss Lulu Bett (A Novel) AND Miss Lulu Bett: An American Comedy of Manners

Zona Gale

Introduction by Marc Seals

Before it was a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and a successful silent film, Zona Gale’s Miss Lulu Bett was the best-selling novel of 1920. A departure from Gale’s earlier idyllic Friendship Village stories, Miss Lulu Bett is the story of a small-town Midwestern spinster who gets a chance at both marriage and feminist awakening—an example of the Midwestern “revolt from the village” movement. This edition brings together, for the first time, the original novel and the play (including both endings).

ISBN 978-1-942885-39-9 | paperback | 312 pages | $13.99

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Madge Vertner (1859–1860)

Mattie Griffith

Introduction by Holly Kent

This edition of Madge Vertner was produced with the assistance of Accessible Archives.

Mattie Griffith’s pre–Civil War abolitionist novel Madge Vertner is a fictional portrait of American slavery told from the perspective of the young daughter of a wealthy southern slave owner. Originally serialized from 1859 to 1860 in the National Anti-Slavery Standard, a weekly abolitionist newspaper edited by Lydia Maria Child, it has never been published in novel form until now. Madge Vertner not only reveals the brutality and horror of slavery, but also raises many questions of race, gender, and equality that still resonate in American society today.

ISBN 978-1-942885-14-6 | paperback | 345 pages | $14.99

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Foreign Born (2018)

John Herrmann

Introduction by Sara Kosiba

Edited by Ross K. Tangedal

Ernst Weiman is a resourceful German immigrant who lives the American dream by becoming a successful businessman and leader in the fictional town of Fairbanks, Michigan. His good fortune comes to a sudden halt during World War I, however, when the community becomes suspicious and judgmental of his German heritage. Written in 1925 but never published until now, John Herrmann’s Foreign Born is a searing look at prejudice and war-time paranoia. This edition has been prepared from an original manuscript housed at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas.

ISBN 978-1-942885-64-1 | paperback | 290 pages | $19.99

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What Happens (1926)

John Herrmann

Introduction by Sara Kosiba

John Herrmann’s What Happens was a little before its time. Originally published in France in 1926 and seized by U.S. Customs for violating the 1922 Tariff Act, which banned the importing of obscene materials from foreign countries, the novel has never been published in the United States. Until now. What Happens tells the coming-of-age story of Winfield Payne, a young man from a wealthy Michigan family. Winfield’s struggles to make his way in the world are complicated by his awakening sexuality and fickle affections. He wants to be a hero, but modern life isn’t made for heroes. Named a 2016 Michigan Notable Book (more).

ISBN 978-1-942885-10-8 | paperback | 272 pages | $14.99

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Hagar Lyndon; Or, A Woman’s Rebellion (1893)

Lizzie Holmes

Introduction by Michelle M. Campbell

Lizzie Holmes’s 1893 novel Hagar Lyndon was way ahead of its time. Radical, even. The novel tells the story of a young woman who refuses to conform to 19th c. gender norms. After observing the effects of domestic abuse on her mother and older sister, Hagar Lyndon decides she does not want to marry. She does want to be a mother, however. Hagar’s choice to live as an unwed mother forms the central dramatic conflict of the novel, as she learns that freedom comes at a cost and tradition is a vicious beast to slay. Originally serialized in the tiny anarchic newspaper Lucifer the Light-Bearer (published out of Kansas), this is the first time the novel has been published in book form and made available to a wider audience.

ISBN 978-1-942885-67-2 | paperback | 262 pages | $19.99

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Legends of Mexico (1847)

George Lippard

Edited (introduction and annotations) by Nichol Allen, Patrick Ayres, Scott Both, Brendon Floyd, William Geiger, Aimee Lafrance, Cassandra Lampitt, Shannan Mason, Alice Morgan, Kendyl Schmidt, Phillip Schneider, Jason Stacy, Louis Thuet, Tyler Young

George Lippard's book Legends of Mexico is a sensationalist chronicle of General Zachary Taylor’s victories in the Mexican-American War. The stories first appeared serially in the spring of 1847 in two Philadelphia newspapers, Scott's Weekly and the Saturday Courier, and were published as a book by T.B. Peterson in August 1847. The “old man” with a “broad chest” and “face bronzed by the sun and toil of thirty eight years of battle service”--a constant and heroic presence in these seven stories of romance, blood, and sacrifice--went on to become president of the United States in 1849.

ISBN 978-1-942885-68-9 | paperback | 258 pages | $19.99

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The Valley of the Moon (1913)

Jack London

Introduction by Nicholas Henson

Disillusioned by the urban labor strikes of early 20th-century Oakland, California, Billy and Saxon Roberts flee the city to begin anew as ranchers in the idyllic Sonoma Valley. Their journey back to the land provides the backdrop for the novel’s exploration of a classic American theme—the promise of wide-open spaces—and echoes Jack London’s own journey as a rancher in the Sonoma Valley. The Valley of the Moon is a love story. A road novel. A study of American independence.

ISBN 978-1-942885-27-6 | paperback | 444 pages | $10.99

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Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley (1915)

Belle Maniates

Introduction by Patricia Oman

Amarilly Jenkins may be a scrub-girl, but she has ambitions. Through hard work, determination, and a few hilarious high jinks, the cheerful young girl pulls herself and her entire family out of poverty. One-part Pollyanna and one-part Pygmalion, Amarilly will make you laugh. Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley (1915) was Belle K. Maniates’s most popular novel, inspiring a play and several silent film adaptations.

ISBN 978-1-942885-25-2 | paperback | 236 pages | $9.99

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Our Next-Door Neighbors (1917)

Belle Maniates

Introduction by Patricia Oman

The only problem that clouds Lucien and Silvia Wade’s calm, comfortable life is that Lucien wants children and Silvia does not. When the wild Polydore children—Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Emerald, Demetrius, and Diogenes—move in next door, however, chaos follows and the Wades each reconsider their position. In Our Next-Door Neighbors Michigan author Belle K. Maniates hilariously explores middle-class life in early 20th century America and questions what the typical American family should look like.

ISBN 978-1-942885-16-0 | paperback | 197 pages | $9.99

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Pollyanna (1912)

Eleanor H. Porter

Introduction by Ashley N. Reese

When poor orphan Pollyanna is sent to live with her wealthy Aunt Polly, she shocks the small town of Beldingsville, Vermont, with sunshine and optimism. With boundless enthusiasm, Pollyanna befriends the most unlikely people, teaching them to see the bright side of any situation through her infectious “glad game.” A classic of children’s literature, Pollyanna will make you glad.

ISBN 978-1-942885-02-3 | paperback | 280 pages | $9.99

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Mysterious Martin (1912)

Tod Robbins

Introduction by Rebecca Peters-Golden

The brilliant and sinister Martin writes a novel from the perspective of a murderer—and if you read it you just might turn into one. Set in both the art world and the demimonde of New York City, Tod Robbins’ 1912 horror novella Mysterious Martin explores what it means to go to extreme lengths for the sake of art . . . and what happens when the line between art and reality disappears. Included in this edition are the original novella and the revised and expanded version Robbins published in 1920 as “For Art’s Sake.”

ISBN 978-1-942885-08-5 | paperback | 296 pages | $13.99

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King Coal (1917)

Upton Sinclair

Introduction by Nicholas Henson

Hal Warner may be a rich kid, but even he can see that the working conditions in the Colorado coal mines are inhumane. Inspired by real-life events, King Coal follows Hal’s undercover exploration of the coal industry and his attempts to unionize the workers. Like Upton Sinclair’s more famous novel The Jungle (1906), this 1917 novel highlights the often unfair and unsafe conditions experienced by working-class Americans in the early 20th century.

ISBN 978-1-942885-06-1 | paperback | 390 pages | $9.99

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A Daughter of the Land (1918)

Gene Stratton-Porter

Introduction by Susan A. Schiller

In the early twentieth century, Kate Bates is an anomaly—an independent “new woman” who rejects the privilege of urban life for the “moral, clean” lifestyle of the countryside. Through hard work, education, and self-reflection, the protagonist of Gene Stratton-Porter’s 1918 novel accepts, on her own terms, her birthright as A Daughter of the Land.

ISBN 978-1-942885-33-7 | paperback | 332 pages | $10.99

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The Harvester (1912)

Gene Stratton-Porter

Introduction by Christopher Baas

Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Gene Stratton-Porter’s 1912 novel The Harvester focuses on David Langston, a young bachelor who lives in and makes his living from the swamps and forests of rural Indiana. A best-seller of the early 20th century, The Harvester combines romance and nature writing to demonstrate through David what a harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world could look like.

ISBN 978-1-942885-21-4 | paperback | 358 pages | $10.99

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