Editor's comments: The Wife Takes a Farmer—a tale of people I most enjoy in fiction, ordinary folks dealing with the joys, sorrows, mishaps and intrigues of daily life. In The Wife Takes a Farmer, Mary Popham captures the lives of rural Kentuckians in the early years of the Twentieth Century. She gathers the language, the dialect, the fashions, the homes, landscapes, and relationships and preserves them for future generations. This novel is a collection of verbal snapshots, people and culture that would be lost were it not for writers like Popham. The story—both warm and conflicted—falls in the category of historical fiction. Yet, the history never gets in the way of the story. The Wife Takes a Farmer is a most satisfying read.
About Mary Popham: A 2003 graduate of the Spalding MFA in Writing Program, her fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, and book reviews have appeared in the Courier-Journal; The Louisville Review; New Southerner; and 2nd & Church. She edits fiction and non-fiction, presents programs on writing, and leads a Louisville writers’ group, The Cherokee Roundtable. In March 2017 she published short stories, Love is a Fireplace, and in 2013, a novel, Back Home in Landing Run.
Author comments: All my life I have written stories about my homeplace, Landing Run in Central Kentucky. As a child, I stood in the background absorbing the names and memories that came with much laughter from my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins about a community of families who sounded to me like the occupants of heaven. My research consisted of reading letters and journals kept by my mother, aunts, and grandmothers, recording data of our heritage in Nelson County for well over 200 years, and recalling simpler ways of living from my youth. My novels about this place are a combination of my own creation, memory, history, and a life-long love of the rolling knobs full of green trees and birdsong. Events and characters spring from imagination, but my intent is to capture the spirit of the Scotch-Irish and English people who settled the land, married, raised families through joy and hardship, and kept a love of neighbor through the love of God. My intent is to contrast the idyllic country life with a desire to know what lies beyond.