Visit Nancy Owen Nelson’s Amazon Author Page to purchase books and read more about her work.


Cover of "Searching for Nannie B"
Cover of “Searching for Nannie B”

Searching for Nannie B: Connecting Three Generations of Southern Women.

Available at in paperback and Kindle.

Available at in paperback.

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 Edited Books

lizard speaks

The Lizard Speaks: Essays on the Writings of Frederick Manfred

editor The Center for Western Studies, 1998

From the Editor, Nancy Owen Nelson:

The first collection ever of essays about the writings of Frederick Manfred, best-selling novelist of the American West. Edited by Nancy Owen Nelson of the Henry Ford Community College, “The Lizard Speaks” is composed of essays by eighteen leading students of Manfred’s work and covers the main body of his novel writing, from “The Golden Bowl” (1944) to “Of Lizards and Angels” (1992).

Robert C. Steensma, University of Utah:

A look at Manfred’s work from diverse and engaging points of view…objective and critically responsible. As the only work of its type, it breaks new ground-a lot of it!

Ronald Robinson, Augustana College:

Objective, daring, unique, sometimes touching and informative. A good overview of Fred’s oeuvre. This book could not be passed up.

Available at

Purchase by going to The Center for Western Studies gift shop




Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Speak on the Literary Life

editor 1995, University of North Texas Press

From the editor:

“This book pulses with emotional and intellectual energy… The essays incorporate ideas on the current issues of autobiography, women’s voice, reader response, diversity, and gender.”

Midwest Book Review:

“one of the most exciting approaches to literary evaluation and assessment to come along in a several decades.”

Elizabeth Tilley, University College, Galway:

“The essays are often painful to read and must frequently have been painful to write. Each critic exposes her emotional self and risks, as the editor notes, the embarrassment or ridicule of the reader. And yet they demand of the reader a recognition of experience shared, and they offer an entirely new method of teaching literature— a method that invites instructor and student to explore through identification.”

Texas Journal:

“These essays articulate the desire by many women in academe to break free of the adversarial mode of teaching literary criticism. Topics include issues of reader response, diversity and gender.”

Available at

Available at the University of North Texas Press




The Selected Letters of Frederick Manfred: 1932-1954

co-edited with Arthur R. Huseboe University of Nebraska Press, 1989

From Co-Editor, Nancy Owen Nelson:

This book is the product of years of selection and editing of the letters of author Frederick Manfred. With the support of Henry Ford Community College (a faculty grant) and the Center for Western Studies, where copies of the letters were stored, co-editor Arthur Huseboe and I worked closely with Manfred to clarify any contextual or historical issues in the letter. There was no attempt on the author’s part of influence our selections. The book is valuable to scholars of the literature of the American West, of the early 20th century literary and social issues in the United States, and not least, the numerous writings of Frederick Manfred.

From Leslie Whipp, University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

This is an impressive piece of work . . . [which] will prove to be useful to scholars and critics of Midwestern literature and more broadly as well.

Available at

Writer. Editor. Teacher.