Candace Simar, a Minnesota writer and poet, carries a passion for Minnesota history and her Scandinavian heritage.
Candace Simar is the author of the award winning Abercrombie Trail Series: Abercrombie Trail 2009; Pomme de Terre 2010; Spur-Award winning Birdie 2011; and Spur-Award finalist Blooming Prairie 2012. These historical novels tell the story of Norwegian immigrants during the 1862 Sioux Uprising and later grasshopper plagues. Candace Simar places her fictional characters in the real history of the region including Fort Abercrombie, Fort Pomme de Terre, Fort Juleson and the Wadsworth Trail.
“I took an interest in this time period after discovering that my great grandfather drove the stage from Fort Snelling to Fort Abercrombie in the closing years of the Civil War.” Although fictional, her meticulous research and attention to detail make the experiences of early Scandinavians come alive on the page.
Shelterbelts (2015) tells the story of Tia Fiskum who farms in Tolga Township, a tightly- knit Scandinavian community in Western Minnesota at the close of WW2. Her brother returns from the war very changed, and Tia must shield him from the neighborhood gossip as well as keep the farm going. Kirkus Reviews describe Shelterbelts as a “moving, disturbing and hilarious story of postwar rural America.” Shelterbelts received a Finalist Award in the 2016 Midwest Book Awards and also in the Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction.
Farm Girls, written with her sister, Angela Foster, published in 2013, contains prose and poetry about growing up on a dairy farm in Otter Tail County:
“If you learned to swear in Norwegian or shared a two-holer outhouse with your cousin, you’ll enjoy the poetry and prose of these sisters. From memories of Norwegian ancestors and growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm to dreams of Oprah’s couch and rapping with Eminem, Farm Girls will take you back to the days of rural schools, moon light, star light, hope to see a ghost tonight and the auction of the family farm.”