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About Mary Woster Haug

Mary Woster Haug grew up on the grasslands of central South Dakota just west of the Missouri River. Her Bohemian, story-telling father inspired a love of words in his children. Perhaps that’s why Haug and her three brothers pursued careers in journalism and literature. She earned a Master of Arts Degree from South Dakota State University where she taught for thirty years focusing on Literature of the American West with an emphasis on regional writers.


Mary Woster Haug’s Out of Loneliness is a stunning memoir that deftly weaves together history, memoir, and reportage. Fifty years after a very public murder in her small South Dakota town, Haug embarks on an investigative journey that leads her back in time, to the staid 1950s and the open grasslands of her youth.  Haug pieces together the story of the love-triangle that ended in one man’s death, and also unpacks stereotypes, assumptions and the silence around sex and sexuality with which she grew up.  In the end, she uncovers larger truth about what it means to be human.  Full of lyricism and narrative urgency, Out of Loneliness is, at its heart, a story about learning see to the humanity in each of us.



~Kate Hopper

 Author of Ready for Air and Use Your Words


A stunning memoir that deftly weaves together history, memoir, and reportage.



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Out of Loneliness

A beautifully written memoir that weaves outer and inner landscapes of family and life in South Dakota and in South Korea. "Mary Woster Haug offers a lovely, ruminative book transcending usual boundaries of memoir and travel writing. Set in modern, bustling Korea during a teaching year abroad, but forever grounded within implicating memories from South Dakota's stark landscape, Haug's writing evokes the intoxications of boiled silkworm, blood sausage, and Korean kimchi. These appear amid wafting tugs of childhood illness, a sometimes overanxious mother, and the magic of a childhood in Lakota country....Such intricate artistry, dating back some twenty-two centuries in Korea, fashions Haug's own book where knots of writer observation and memory grow all the stronger for our efforts to unravel them."


eBook Version is Available


~Daniel W. Lehman

  Co-Editor of River Teeth:

  A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative


  A lovely ruminative 

    book transcending 

      usual boundaries 

          of memoir and

           travel writing.

Daughters of the Grasslands

TEDx  |  Brookings South Dakota

Book Essays
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Radio Essays 1

Kind  Words

Out of Loneliness is an engrossing tale of small-town Great Plains uncertainty and murder penned with an intricacy that only a native to the place could manage. Haug gives us a timeless vision of South Dakota life beneath the all-too common regional stereotypes, tunneling down to a place that teems with fertile contradictions.

Steven Wingate

author of The Leave-takers and Of Fathers and Fire

Kind Words



Thank You

Tel 605.695.3029

Address 1201 Yale Place Minneapolis, MN 55403

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