The University of Wisconsin Press

Essays / Memoir / Wisconsin


Tales from the Middle Border
Richard Quinney

“I welcome the opportunity to tell the stories of a lifetime. Like the Ancient Mariner, I never cease to tell—and to reshape—my stories.” —from the prologue

The place is the middle border, the Midwest borderland remembered in the writings of Hamlin Garland. Richard Quinney’s autobiographical essays begin with his birth and early years on the family farm in southern Wisconsin, continue through a lifetime of movement away from the farm, and document a return to the farm. Along the way, there are the tales of the years of living and writing in a prairie town across the border. In the most recent telling, Quinney is still moving between town and country. But it is always to the farm on the middle border that he returns. Autobiographical reflection allows the narrator to move in time and space across a geographical landscape. The impulse to write autobiographically is to know the present and, at the same time, to apprehend what is yet to be. Lives are saved and renewed in the telling of these tales. Such is the good fortune of the storyteller.

Richard Quinney is the author of several books that combine autobiographical writing and photography, including Journey to a Far Place, For the Time Being, Borderland, and Where Yet the Sweet Birds Sing. His other books are in the academic field of sociology. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and on the family farm in Walworth County in southern Wisconsin.

The Borderland Books logo.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

the cover of Tales from the Middle Border is illustrated with the photo of a tree beside a rural road.


LC: 2006901464 CT
200 pp. 5 1/2 x 8
16 b/w photos

Book icon
Cloth $26.00 t
ISBN 978-0-9768781-3-1
  Adobe Digital Edition (PDF)
About our e-books
No restrictions on printing or copying, access on six different devices.

Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.
E-mail: or by phone at 608-263-0733.

Updated July 28, 2010

© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System