Reading these linked stories feels like living in a neighborhood and watching days go by for all the faces you recognize on the corners. Howland's sociological lucidity is unmatched, and her (re)discovery by A Public Space is long overdue.— Kyle
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage restores to the literary canon an extraordinarily gifted writer, who was recognized as a major talent before all but disappearing from public view for decades, until nearly the end of her life. Bette Howland herself was an outsider - an intellectual from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago; a divorce and single mother, to the disapproval of her family; an artist chipped away at by poverty and perfection. Each of these facets plays a central role in her work. Mining her deepest emotions for her art, she chronicles the tension of her generation. Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage introduces a new generation of listeners to a wry, brilliant observer and a writer of great empathy and sly, joyous humor.