The University of Wisconsin Press

Autobiography / Women's Studies / Wisconsin


Nell's Story
A Woman from Eagle River
Nell Peters, with Robert Peters

"Courageous and important writing."—Merry K. Anderson, Book Lovers

With its desperate acts and dire consequences, Nell Peters's tale of a woman's life in northern Wisconsin is a remarkable story, full of the sense and sound and flavor of a time and place rarely visited in books. Nell's tomboy childhood, her businesslike initiation into sex on the eve of her departure for the WACs in 1951, her resulting pregnancy and return home to a life sharply at odds with small-town conventions, her struggle to keep her twin sons, and her disastrous sexual liaisons with men and women alike are recounted in this funny, gritty, and wildly candid book.

"What a story!... the power of Nell's story is her remarkable candor. As if she were talking to her closest friend, she shares her most intimate thoughts and experiences."—Frank Denton, Wisconsin State Journal

"Nell's Story is as raw as a Wisconsin winter; its bright, bold honesty chills to the bone."—A. Manette Ansay, author of Vinegar Hill

"For Nell Peters, life is a garage sale, full of treasures amid the tough times. Gutsy Nell is a witty and earthy raconteur."—Karen Kringle, author of Vital Ties

"As a fascinating exercise in obscure lives retrieved, as a joint effort in painful and exultant memory, this rich memoir has the playful seriousness and inventive charm which characterizes the work of Robert Peters, joined in this case with his sister Nell."—Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List

Nell Peters lives in Eagle River, Wisconsin. This is her first book. Robert Peters is professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, criticism, and plays, including Crunching Gravel: A Wisconsin Boyhood in the Thirties and For You, Lili Marlene: A Memoir of World War II, both also by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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The cover of Nell's story features an old photo of a woman that could be Nell, with four children.

March 1995
LC: 94-024164 CT
172 pp.   6 x 9   9 b/w photos

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Paper $14.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-14474-6
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