Letters on An Elk Hunt

Synopsis

A continuation of Letters of a Woman Homesteader, Letters on an Elk Hunt is set in the same corner of southwestern Wyoming, the time is the fall of 1914, and (despite the title) Mrs. Stewart is far less concerned with elk hunting than with people- old friends and new acquaintances- and with the land in which she found so much beauty. Her letters, as Jessamyn West said of the earlier volume, "are, in fact (though not that alone), a collection of short stories." She added that "what makes these letters so good are not these stories, but the character of the storyteller, of Elinore Stewart herself. Her letters endure and give pleasure because she does what the great letter-writers do: she reveals herself.... It is the woman in this vanished landscape, the homesteader with her enormous vitality, humor, and tenderness who holds our attention." Jessamyn West's wish to know more about the author herself is fulfilled in the foreword to Letters on an Elk Hunt- an appreciative biographical sketch, incorporating material from some of Mrs. Stewart's unpublished letters as well as the reminiscences of her children.

Elizabeth Fuller Ferris, of the Wilderness Women Project, Missoula, Montana, is the writer and producer of Burntfork, a film for public television funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities based upon the life of Elinore Pruitt Stewart.

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