1860-1940, American author, b. near West Salem, Wis. He grew up in the Middle Western farmlands, the region he later wrote about in verse, stories, and autobiography. His tales, collected as Main-travelled Roads
(1891), Prairie Folks
(1893), and Wayside Courtships
(1897), were bitter pictures of the futility of farm lives. Besides realistic novels of the prairies—A Little Norsk
(1892) and Rose of Dutcher's Coolly
(1895), he wrote several propagandist novels, including Jason Edwards: An Average Man
(1892), urging the single tax doctrine, and A Spoil of Office
(1892), supporting the Populist party. Garland is perhaps best remembered for his two autobiographical works, A Son of the Middle Border
(1917) and A Daughter of the Middle Border
(1921, Pulitzer Prize). He was also the author of essays, a biography of President Grant (1898), and several books on spiritualism.
See biography by J. Holloway (1960, repr. 1971).
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