Home Bookstore The Eau Claire novel Native has caused a…

The Eau Claire novel Native has caused a…


THERE SHE STANDS. Eau Claire native Jane Culver (from a 1934 Wisconsin State Journal article) and her novel, published that year by Houghton Mifflin.

As Chippewa Valley residents, we’ve grown accustomed to having a lot of big-name authors around: Nickolas Butler, Michael Perry, John Hildebrand, BJ Hollars, and I could go on and on.

However, this has not always been the case. In 1934, a book came out in New York that caused a stir in the Eau Claire community.

So I stood by Jane Culver was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1934. Culver, known as Mary Jane in Eau Claire circles, spent the first 18 years of her life in the city. His parents were both born in Eau Claire. Jane’s father, Joseph, was a real estate professional. His mother was the former Mary McDonough. Jane grew up in two homes in Eau Claire: 312 Jefferson and 600 Oak Place. Culver also had other relatives still living in Eau Claire, namely the Wickams and the Welches.

Her parents left Eau Claire for Florida, then moved to Akron, Ohio. Jane attended Columbia University. She lived in New York but spent her summers with her parents in Akron.

According to a New York Times review, the book “presents a writer of astonishing maturity and imaginative understanding.”

It took him four years to write So I stood. She said that many Eau Claire residents could recognize themselves in the book, but I could never find any accounts of people who did.

It was her first novel, which she wrote using the stream of consciousness method made famous by James Joyce. The title of the book was taken from one of Emily Brontë’s poems.

According to a New York Times review, the book “presents a writer of astonishing maturity and imaginative understanding. It is a psychological novel, the experiences of a soul’s growth, from childhood, characterized by poetic imagination, vivid emotional values ​​and a cloak of fear – to adolescence, colored by changed fortunes. of the family. The heroine, having a religious conflict with her father and realizing that her mother had a flawed and frivolous temper, turns to her brother for love and understanding.

It sounded so dramatic that I was surprised to read Margaret Cheney Dawson’s article from the New York Herald Tribune that said, “The virtues of her writing are abundant and tangible. He has a great personality, a flair for the newly brilliant and revealing phrase, and frequent passages of delightful humor.

The book was available for sale at the Eau Claire bookstore where it sold very well. Another book that became available at the bookstore was A Mystery by Thomas Polsky in 1939. Culver and Polsky had married in 1936. After attending Harvard and the Sorbonne, he began his career as a newspaper writer in Akron before moving on to writing novels full time. The couple lived in a writers colony in Weaverville, North Carolina, near Asheville. Polsky published his mysteries throughout the 1940s and early 1950s. Culver’s book is available at LE Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, and Polsky’s books can be found on Amazon and other homes. Sold out, but be prepared to pay $30-$600 for them.