Hardship and Hope brings to life known and unknown Missouri women through their own writings in journals, letters, diaries, and memoirs. Most of these pieces have never been published or have long been out of print. Carla Waal and Barbara Oliver Korner have skillfully crafted this anthology to represent myriad Missouri women. There are pieces representing the experiences of Jewish, Irish, and German immigrants, African Americans, well-educated women, and deeply religious women. Preceding each entry is a useful introduction that provides history and background on the woman and her work. Hardship and Hope began as a series of performances around the state of Missouri through which the book's editors demonstrated the roles women played in that state's past. Because of the enthusiastic response to their performances, Waal and Korner continued searching for documents by Missouri women and now share their discoveries in book form. Covering a little more than a century, from just before Missouri's admission to the Union in 1821 to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920, the excerpts here both captivate and inform. This anthology will appeal to those interested in women's studies, Missouri and midwestern history, and oral interpretation.
About the EditorsCarla Waal is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the author of Harriet Bosse: Strindberg's Muse and Interpreter. Barbara Oliver Korner is Associate Professor of Theatre at Seattle Pacific University.