In the 2023 One Book South Dakota selection, “The Seed Keeper,” author Diane Wilson follows several generations of a Dakota family as they struggle to preserve their way of life. This summer she is sharing that story directly with readers in a dozen communities throughout South Dakota, including Pierre.
Rawlins Municipal Library will host Wilson on her One Book South Dakota Author Tour for “The Seed Keeper” at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. She will discuss her work, answer questions, and sign books.
“We’re very excited to host the One Book SD Author again this year,” said Rawlins Library Director Abby Edwardson. “It’s a wonderful experience for the whole community.”
A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper features the young Dakota woman Rosalie Iron Wing. She draws strength from the knowledge that she is descended from women with souls of iron, women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss.
“At the heart of The Seed Keeper is a true story about Dakota women who, during the 1862 Dakota war in Minnesota, when they were being removed from the state and didn’t know where they were going to go or how they would feed their families, they sewed their seeds into the hems of their skirts and hid them in their pockets,” Wilson said.
In addition to The Seed Keeper, Wilson has written a memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, and a nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life. She has also published numerous essays and two children’s books: Ella Cara Deloria: Dakota Language Protector and Where We Come From.
“So much of my writing and research has been centered in South Dakota, so to be able to come back to a land where I feel such a strong family rootedness and to share these stories, this is a great honor for me,” Wilson said. “I’m excited for these conversations, so put the coffee on! I’m happy to come visit.”
Sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council, “The Seed Keeper” discussions and author visits fulfill a mission to “celebrate literature, promote civil conversation, and tell the stories that define our state.”