Author Archives: Kyle Williams

Bet Your Life

 

Set in Omaha, “the insurance capital of the Midwest,” Richard Dooling’s Bet Your Life follows insurance fraud investigator Carver Hartnett as he attempts to solve the sudden death of his friend and coworker, Lenny, after a wild night out and a mysterious online gaming session. He is aided in his search by another coworker, and unrequited love interest, Miranda. As they uncover the secrets of Lenny’s life, a macabre tale is revealed involving drug abuse, insurance fraud, and clandestine emails, with Miranda possibly playing a large role.

Continue reading

Richard Dooling

Richard Dooling is an author, screenwriter, professor, and lawyer from Omaha, Nebraska. Born in 1954, he attended Creighton Prep High School and he received his B.A. from St. Louis University. Shortly after studying at UNMC, he began working as a respirational therapist in an intensive care unit in Clarkson Hospital. Returning from a year-long journey through Europe and Africa, Dooling enrolled in St. Louis University to receive his law degree. While there he was the editor in chief of their law journal.

Continue reading

Yonnondio: From the Thirties by Tillie Olsen

In Yonnondio: From the Thirties, Tillie Olsen traces the life and growth of the Holbrook family and their struggles for a better life in the Midwest in the early twentieth century. Beginning in a Wyoming mining town and eventually ending in the streets of Omaha, the family’s quest for the American dream is thwarted by the harsh realities of the working class. Focusing on the daughter, Mazie, the reader gains a view into the conflict between the poor conditions of early industrialism and the desire for identity and independence from “the Company” – the ubiquitous forces of capitalism that hold the family down.

Continue reading

Tillie Olson, Nebraska Author

Nebraska is a place of open country and congested city, farmland and factory, and no author better captures the joys and hardships of these conflicting dynamics than Tillie Olsen. Born Tillie Lerner in 1913 or 1914 in either Wahoo, Mead, or Omaha (no birth certificate exists), to Russian immigrants, she learned at an early age the hard facts of poverty both in the country and the city. Her family relocated to Omaha where she attended Lake School Elementary in North Omaha and Omaha Central High School.

Continue reading

The Flow of the River by Loren Eiseley

 

Floating down a lazy river may be relaxing and a good way to get some sun, but with the right kind of mind it can be a way to reconnect with the beginning of life on the planet. In his essay, The Flow of the River, Loren Eiseley takes an impromptu journey on the Platte River which becomes a meditation on the way water unites all life on Earth. With his unique blend of philosophy and science, wonder and understanding, Eiseley takes us on a journey through time, back to the mysterious origins of life in the primordial oceans.

Continue reading

Loren Eiseley

Loren Eiseley, anthropologist, philosopher, nature writer, and poet, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1907. Renowned for his creative nonfiction essays on the natural world, Eiseley combines personal narrative with scientific research to illuminate the mysteries of nature, especially the evolution of humans, animals, and the universe, as well as the uniqueness of the human experience.

Continue reading

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know BF441 .G693 2021

We have all been there before, after finishing a test, you have a moment of doubt and panic about one of your answers. You flip back and go over the question again, but erasing that mark can seem like a tremendous effort. Most of us believe that our first instinct is correct, so we leave it as it is, despite our misgivings. We may even have been told by instructors to leave an answer once it is on paper because more often than not our doubts are unfounded and simply products of nervous overthinking. This is known as the first-instinct fallacy. In reality, studies have shown that students usually change their answer to the correct one. Adam Grant uses this example to introduce us to the practice of rethinking.

Continue reading

One of Ours Book Review

Willa Cather’s novel, One of Ours, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1923, tells the coming-of-age story of Claude Wheeler, the son of a wealthy farmer with an easy life and a head full of ideas living in Frankfort, Nebraska. Claude lives more in his head than with his body, a temperament not conducive to a life of long days and hard work on a farm. Claude attends a Christian college but would rather attend the State University in Lincoln, as he finds his classes and professors dull. He feels contradictorily towards his home life, “both loved and hated to come home” (70). While he loves the land and his immigrant farmer neighbors, he does not get on well with his family.

Continue reading

Who is Willa Cather?

Perhaps the most famous Nebraska author, Willa Cather is known for her depictions of rural Midwestern life, often juxtaposing it with modern metropolises. Born in 1873 in Virginia, Cather moved with her family to her grandfather’s farm near Red Cloud, Nebraska when she was nine. An independent child, Willa flourished on the open plains and small town of Red Cloud, where she fit in well among immigrant farmers and teachers, enjoying the countryside as well as more artistic and intellectual endeavors.

Continue reading