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September 07 , 2010

The Guard House and Other Stories


This collection of short-short stories carries readers back in time to the post-Civil War era and to the short-lived military post Fort Stevenson, which stood on the frontier near the banks of the Missouri River in Dakota Territory, now North Dakota, and near to where the Lewis and Clark Expedition made its way along the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast. The stories then carry the reader forward in time and out of Lake Sakakawea, which now covers the original fort—and also the homeland of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara peoples—behind Garrison Dam. Throughout the collection, the author inhabits a range of characters, including an Army post commander, a General Land Office surveyor, a Native American baseball player, a Sakakawea Country tourist, and a teenage girl whose family regularly camps at Fort Stevenson State Park, which sits now three miles northeast of the original fort on the shores of the lake. Written during a seven-day stay at the state park in August 2011, this work was produced under the Artist-in-Residency Program with the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

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