A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of being in the audience at Bookstore 1 Sarasota to hear Mildred Armstrong Kalish talk. “Millie,” as she insists (really) on being called, is the author of the bestseller Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. (Learn more about book and author at little-heathens[dot]com.)
When the book came out in hardcover in 2007, I bought it for my own enjoyment, then asked my Iowa-born husband to read it, and then we sent copies as Christmas presents for my husband’s siblings. Now the book is out in paperback, and thus Millie has been traveling once again in support of it.
Millie is now something in the vicinity of 88 years old. It was fun to hear her stories, some of which weren’t even included in the book. She kept the pace up and kept her audience amused and intrigued. In the open discussion afterward, she mentioned that one reader had admitted rereading only two books in her life, the Bible and Little Heathens. Said Millie to her audience, “It’s kind of hard to remain humble after that.” Millie Kalish is, simply, a delightful person; go see her if you get an opportunity. But definitely, read her book if you want a feel for Iowa farm life during the Great Depression.
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