25 years ago, author Elizabeth Leiknes moved away from her family in Truesdale, Iowa, though she looks upon her home state with great fondness. Her latest book, The Lost Queen of Crocker County, is an ode to the Midwestern identity.
It’s a story inspired by Leiknes' drive home from work one day. While driving, she felt a thump under her car.
“Is it a kitten? Is it a dog? What had happened?” Leiknes remembers asking herself. She went back and found nothing, but it got her thinking.
“On the way home I had about a 15 minute period of time where I went from, 'Oh my gosh what have I done' to, 'What about me immediately makes me think something tragic has happened or I’ve done something bad?'” she says.
Thinking about the unfounded guilt she felt, she wondered, “Is that a Midwestern thing?”
In her new book, Leiknes explores this and other questions about regional identity.
In this Talk of Iowa segment, Charity Nebbe speaks with Leiknes ahead of her reading at Prairie Lights in Iowa City on Sunday, July 22.