Sister Mariella Gable Series

2020 Sister Mariella Gable Series Winner


The Literary Arts Institute is excited to announce our visiting author for Fall 2020: Marie Mutsuki Mockett. Mockett won the Sister Mariella Gable Prize for American Harvest: God, Country, and Farming in the Heartland

Mockett will give a virtual reading from her book on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm. She will be joined by Juston Wolgemuth, a friend and figure who appears in the book for a discussion afterwards. 

Click here for the YouTube link to view the past event.   

For over one hundred years, the Mockett family has owned a seven-thousand-acre wheat farm in the panhandle of Nebraska, where Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s father was raised. Mockett, who grew up in bohemian Carmel, California, with her father and her Japanese mother, knew little about farming when she inherited this land. Her father had all but forsworn it.
In American Harvest, Mockett accompanies a group of evangelical Christian wheat harvesters through the heartland at the invitation of Eric Wolgemuth, the conservative farmer who has cut her family’s fields for decades. As Mockett follows Wolgemuth’s crew on the trail of ripening wheat from Texas to Idaho, they contemplate what Wolgemuth refers to as “the divide,” inadvertently peeling back layers of the American story to expose its contradictions and unhealed wounds. She joins the crew in the fields, attends church, and struggles to adapt to the rhythms of rural life, all the while continually reminded of her own status as a person who signals “not white,” but who people she encounters can’t quite categorize.
American Harvest is an extraordinary evocation of the land and a thoughtful exploration of ingrained beliefs, from evangelical skepticism of evolution to cosmopolitan assumptions about food production and farming. With exquisite lyricism and humanity, this astonishing book attempts to reconcile competing versions of our national story. (Graywolf Press)