Diaries Edited by Susan Morrison '81 Provide Glimpse of WWII America

by Sherri Kimmel
Susan Morrison '81
Susan Morrison '81

A new book published by Alumni Council President Susan Signe Morrison '81 has garnered several notable positive reviews from places like Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Book Reviews. Publishers Weekly referred to the work as "invigorating and memorable," while Kirkus described it as "fine, insightful, and moving." A series of excerpts was featured in the The Christian Science Monitor.

Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America features the writings of Morrison's mother, Joan Wehlen Morrison, a daugther of Swedish immigrants who penned the diary from 1937 to 1943.  "It is marketed for the young adult market, but anyone interested in World War II would find it of interest," says the author, who is a professor of English and honorary professor of international studies at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Morrison transcribed her mother's journal entries and poems and created a narrative arc. Once the book was accepted for publication by Chicago Review Press, she wrote the preface, which gives a biography of her mother, describes the discovery of the diaries and editing process, and concludes by suggesting how these diaries added to the historical record and could affect the reader.

Morrison is also the author of two books on the Middle Ages: Women Pilgrims in Late Medieval England: Private Piety as Public Performance (2000) and Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer's Fecopoetics (2008).