Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 20, 1984)
Tuesday, March 20, 1934
incoln novelist writes 'feminist romance'
By Joan Kcrinek
A book which originated at UNL was at the top of
a best-seller list for six weeks, said the book's author,
a UNL alumna.
Catherine Kid well's Dear Stranger is the expand
ed version ofher master's thesis entitled Hie Woman
Dear Stranger was at the top of the Los Angeles
Times best-seller list for six weeks. The novel came
out in hardcover in February 1933 and in paperback
in January, Kidwell said.
The book has been published in 12 forms, and
most recently was translated into Swedish, Kidwell
said. Publication of the thesis project both in the
United States and England has made Kidwell the
first person from UNL to achieve such simultaneous
Kid well's writing career began in 1969 when she
entered college as a freshman at the same time as
her daughter, Jane. Ten years later she had earned a
bachelor of fine arts degree in art, a master of arts
degree in English and a publishable thesis. This
experience "opened up a whole new world," she said.
The thesis Ttie Woman I Am was published, and
Kidwell wrote a sequel to it with which she had little
luck, she said. She put the two novels together and
thus, Dear Stranger was born. It took about six
year's to write the entire book, she said.
iyiu wen oaiu aiic gui me lueaiur me biory irom ner
own life. Although some of the character's stages
occur at an age Kidwell can identify with, she said,
the story is fiction.
The story takes place in a town called Lancaster
which portrays Lincoln during World War II, Kid
well said. There is even a chapter about ROTC on the
UNL campus during the Vietnam era, she said.
The story centers on a young couple who meet
during World War II, and marry. The husband is
sent to England, and after two years of correspond
ing, they divorce. Thirty years later, they meet again.
The first part of the book is nostalgic since it starts
in the 1910's, Kid well said. But all ages seem to enjoy
the book, she said.
Describing her book as a "feminist romance,"
Kidwell said Dear Stranger involves feminism, ro
mance and older women. The book gave her "a
chance to say that these three things could go
together," she said.
Kidwell has an agent in New York, N.Y., who
promotes the book. A year ago, she toured 14 major
cities to promote the book herself, she said.
What does it feel like to write a best seller? Kidwell
said it is thrilling to know that hundreds of thous
ands of people have read her book.
"I feel my fantasies have come true," Kidwell said.
Kidwell said her writing style is economical be
cause is is not wordy, preachy or redundant. She
tries to get inside her characters and project what
they are feeling, she said.
She has always liked to write, she said.
"I was writing stories in the second grade," she
Currently, Kidwell teaches an adult fiction writ
ing course at Southeast Community College. She
also is trying to adapt Dear Stranger as a screen
play. Other books are in the works, Kidwell said. One is
a "how-to" book about writing quality fiction, she
The following incidents were rpnnrfpH tn th-TTNT.
Police Department between 6 p.m. Saturday and 8
6:18 a.m. Domestic disturbance reported on Y
Street between 16th and 17th streets. Officer con
tacted those responsible.
4:35 p.m. Person reportedly exited a fire door
at the College of Business Administration causing
an alarm near the door to sound.
1:02 a.m. Person arrested for driving while
intoxicated and possession of controlled substance
at 20th and Holdrege streets.
6:45 a.m. Officer reported damage to grass and
bushes near the service drive between Former Law
and Behlen Lab. Damage apparently was caused by
5:35 p.m. Two-car non-injury accident reported
at the entrance to Parking Area 1 near Cather Hall
on North 17th Street.
6:35 p.m. Window reported broken at Seaton
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The Center for Rural Affairs in Hartington is
accepting applications for internship positions. The
internships are offered in conjunction with the
organization's Small Farm Resources Project.
Internship areas include: conjunctive water man
agement and agriculture structure in western Neb
raska; policies addressing drawdown of wet mea
dows in the sandhills; low water-use legumes for
crop row interseeding; and intensive grazing sys
tems for cow calf, sheep and dairy farmers.
For more information, contact the project office
at P.O. Box 736, Hartington, Neb. 68739 or call (402)
254-6893. Notification will be made by the end of
Super Skate 84 will roll out Saturday, March 31,
from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help raise money for the
Association for Retarded Citizens-Capital. The Lin
coln event is part of a nationwide effort to reach a
million miles in combined local ARC events. .
Funds will come from pledges brought in by each
participant. Instead of awarding a grand prize for
the highest amount of pledges brought in, the
association will have achievement awards based on
amount of pledges submitted.
The event will be at the Starlite Roller Rink, 2310
N. First St. Pledge sheets are available there or at
Russ' IGA or the association office. For more infor
mation, contact the association at 410 Lincoln
Center Building ,215 Centennial Mall South, Lin
The American Lung Association of Nebraska and
Health Central will sponsor a program designed to
teach chronic lung disease sufferers and their
families more about the disease. The "Better Breath
ers Program" starts April 5.
To register, contact Sheri Larson McAuliffe at
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