Sarah Neidhardt grew up in the woods. When she was an infant, her parents left behind comfortable, urbane lives to take part in the back-to-the-land movement. They moved their young family to an isolated piece of land deep in the Arkansas Ozarks where they built a cabin, grew crops, and strove for eight years to live self-sufficiently.
In this vivid memoir Neidhardt explores her childhood in wider familial and social contexts. Drawing upon a trove of family letters and other archival material, she follows her parents' journey from privilege to food stamps-from their formative youths, to their embrace of pioneer homemaking and rural poverty, to their sudden and wrenching return to conventional society-and explores the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s as it was, and as she lived it.
A story of strangers in a strange land, of class, marriage, and family in a changing world, Twenty Acres: A Seventies Childhood in the Woods
is part childhood idyll, part cautionary tale. Sarah Neidhardt reveals the treasures and tolls of unconventional, pastoral lives, and her insightful reflections offer a fresh perspective on what it means to aspire to pre-industrial lifestyles in a modern world.Author:
University of Arkansas PressPublished:
9.00h x 6.00w x 0.68dISBN:
About the Author
Sarah Neidhardt has worked as a bookseller, secretary, paralegal, copyeditor, and stay-at-home mother. She grew up in Arkansas and Northern California and now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and teenage son. She is a graduate of Oberlin College.