Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Peculiar Lessons

How Nature and the Material World Shaped a Prairie Childhood

by (author) Lois Braun

Great Plains Publications
Initial publish date
May 2020
Personal Memoirs
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Shortlisted for the 2021 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction Part memoir, part social history, this collection of ten essays explores the various physical and natural elements that form the backdrop to Braun's memories of growing up mid-20th century on a farm in southern Manitoba. From blackboard chalk to curling rocks in the chapter on stone, from mirages to straight-line winds in the essay on light and air, she reflects on her interactions with the elements as a child and how her responses influenced her evolution into adulthood. Braun includes intriguing tidbits about the science and history behind each element as it pertains to life in her unique location on our planet. The book highlights the value and beauty of the simple components of our surroundings that we take for granted growing up, exposes their true complexity, and reveals how the fascination with a "simple" thing can become a lifelong pursuit that sustains one's artistic and spiritual needs.

About the author

Lois Braun was born on a grain farm in southern Manitoba and studied at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. She has been nominated for numerous literary prizes, including the Governor General's Award, the Journey Prize, and the Manitoba Book of the Year Award.


Lois Braun's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Peculiar Lessons is the kind of book to read at leisure and to absorb slowly." - Canada's History

Other titles by Lois Braun

Related lists