Many Americas

Nancy Mairs (1943-    )

Waist-High in the World


  • Born in 1943 in Long Beach, California, the daughter of a naval officer and a tax collector..
  • Married George Mairs, a teacher; has three children.
  • Attended Wheaton College (A.B., 1964) and University of Arizona (M.F.A., 1975, Ph.D., 1984).
  • Received theWestern States Arts Foundation book award in 1984 for a collection of poetry, In All the Rooms of the Yellow House, but known primarily as a feminist essayist.
  • Since 1992, has been forced by progressive multiple sclerosis to use a wheelchair.

Major Writings

Instead it is Winter (poems) (1977)
In All the Rooms of the Yellow House (1984)
Plaintext (essays) (1986)
Remembering the Bone-House: An Erotics of Place and Space (essays) (1989)
Carnal Acts (essays and fiction) (1990)
Ordinary Time: Cycles in Marriage, Faith, and Renewal (essays) (1994)
Voice Lessons: On Becoming A (Woman) Writer (1994)        
Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled (1996)

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • Biographical and critical information in the following Gale publication: Contemporary Authors, Volume 136, though the information is currently updated only to 1992.  Gale Literary Database (Contemporary Authors Online) can be accessed online through a subscribing library at
  • Other print sources for biographical and critical information:

           American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the              Present, Volume 5. Edited by Carol Hurd Green and Mary Grimley Mason. New York,              1994.

  • Three book reviews (Remembering the Bone House, Carnal Acts, and Waist-high in the World) in MSWorld.

Retired Discussion Series

Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
© 2019, Niobrara County Library