Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hard Grass: Life on the Crazy Woman Bison Ranch, by Mary Zeiss Stange

Why would two out-of-state college professors decide to buy a ranch in southeastern Montana, way out in the middle of nowhere? Maybe because they had romantic notions about solitude and land. Maybe because they didn't know any better.

Near the small town of Ekalaka, is where Mary Zeiss Stange and her husband, Doug, own and run the Crazy Woman Bison Ranch. Hard Grass is an account of running that ranch and an exploration of the myths and realities of ranch life in modern America.

In addition to ranching, Stange is professor of women's studies and religion at Skidmore College in upstate New York where, for eight years, she served as director of the women's studies program. Stange has written numerous articles for major magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals, and four books of nonfiction. Hard Grass is her latest.

"Scholar, rancher, hunter, and feminist, Mary Zeiss Stange finally gives the fly-over country of the West what it's been lacking: a nuanced portrait of its people and animals from someone invested in the harsh and beautiful landscape."
-- Ted Kerasote, author of Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt and
Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age

This week during The Write Question, Mary Zeiss Stange talks about why she and Doug bought their land, how they have resolved western landowner issues, and why they chose to raise bison on their place, instead of cattle.

You can hear The Write Question Thursday evening at 6:30 (Yellowstone Public Radio) or at 7:30 (Montana Public Radio).

Or listen online.

Find out more about Mary Zeiss Stange and her new book, Hard Grass.

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