Fun Facts Friday: Mari Sandoz

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Mari Sandoz (11 May, 1896 – 10 March, 1966) was a novelist, biographer and teacher from Nebraska. Ms. Sandoz wrote a lot about poisoner life and the Plains Indians.


Image from http://www.marisandoz.org/events_activities/mari-sandoz-research-award/about-the-mari-sandoz-research-award.html

Books by Mari Sandoz*

  1. Ms. Sandoz was the oldest of six children. Their parents with Swiss immigrants.
  2. As a child she worked hard on the farm as her father didn’t like her reading and writing (he was also known to be a violent man).
  3. At age 17 Ms. Sandoz finally manage to graduate from 8th grade and secretly took the rural teacher’s exam. She started teaching country schools without attending high-school.
  4. Even without a high-school diploma she continued to write and eventually enrolled at the University of Nebraska.
  5. Sandoz claimed to have received over 1,000 rejection slips to her short stories.
  6. She went to visit her dying father, who asked her to write his life story as his last request. The result was the book Old Jules.
  7. Every major publishing house rejected Old Jules, but Ms. Sandoz kept revising it until she had finally won a non-fiction contest held by Atlantic Press.
  8. In 1942 Ms. Sandoz published Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas, a biography of the Lakota leader. This book is considered her greatest work and ahead of its time.
  9. Sandoz always liked to encourage other writers and held summer writing workshops in different institutions.
  10. In 1966 Ms. Sandoz passed away from bone cancer. She is buried on a hillside overlooking her family’s ranch in Nebraska.

Books by Mari Sandoz*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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