Sunrise on the Prairie
Photo by JBAT used under a Creative Commons license.

Teresa Jordan, Riding the White Horse Home (Vintage, 1994).
Jordan was in the last of four generations of her family to live and work on a cattle ranch in Iron Mountain, Wyoming, not far from Cheyenne and Laramie. After her grandfather died, her family was forced to sell the place, and while Jordan explains what drove things to that point, she also regrets losing her connection to the land. Small towns throughout the rural West are slowly depopulating as people like Jordan who grew up in them find careers and lives in the cities. Jordan’s memoir tries to capture and come to terms with the life she lost — the land, the work, the relationships with horses and cattle. This is also a memoir of her family, most poignantly of her mother, who died when Jordan was twenty.

Jordan’s site has a bio and plenty more about her work. Monica Bretherton wrote about the book. And in 1991, Jordan gave the keynote address to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, with some material which later appeared in the book.

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