On this episode of Arts & Letters, we explore the historical fiction of Andrew Malan Milward's collection, I Was A Revolutionary, interrogates historical Kansas from the Civil War to the present through literary fiction and artifacts, including Wikipedia entries, photographs, maps and satirical cartoons.
We discuss two stories from Milward's collection: "The Burning of Lawrence" and "O Death." The first story, "The Burning of Lawrence" examines William Clarke Quantrill's raid of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863; the second story "O Death" talks about Exodusters: African American migrants who made their way to Nicodemus, Kansas after the war. The stories bespeak of current societal divisions and of the plight of migrants.
A native of Lawrence and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Andrew Malan Milward is also the author of the story collection The Agriculture Hall of Fame, which was awarded the Juniper Prize in Fiction by the University of Massachusetts. He has served as the McCreight Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, and has received fellowships and awards from the Lannan Foundation, Jentel, and Yaddo.
Thanks to Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery of R. Ring, Radio Birds, The Mallet Brothers, Amyjo Savannah, Bonnie Montgomery, Lady Georgia Hudson, Rodney Block and Tim Anthony and friends for providing music for the show.
Generous funding was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.