Join us for a reading with Marilyn Peterson Haus, author of Half of a Whole: My Fight for a Separate Life, on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. This presentation will be held in person in the Bement Room at the Library.
About the author:
Marilyn Peterson Haus spent her childhood playing with her twin brother— jumping in
the haymow, feeding corncobs to the pigs, exploring the woods behind the granary—on
their farm in western Minnesota. She learned to read and write in a one-room school set
in the midst of a sea of corn and oats. To go to junior high and high school, she rode a
rickety yellow school bus seven miles to the nearest town (population 700), which had
sprung up next to the railroad as it sliced through the tallgrass prairie while heading
west. Marilyn’s own journey took her in the opposite direction, and after attending
Augsburg College (now Augsburg University) in Minneapolis, she and her husband
moved east and settled in western Massachusetts, where she raised three children,
earned an MBA and launched a successful business career.
Marilyn wrote her first book, Half of a Whole: My Fight for a Separate Life, because she
needed to make sense of both the ecstasy and the tragedy of growing up with her
deeply troubled twin. She wanted the reader to feel the intensity of their childhood bond,
and her despair as she watched him lose control of his mind. She wanted to portray the
depth of her devotion to her fundamentalist evangelical family, and the pain of breaking
away when the religious strictures and favoritism towards her brother became too much.
And she wanted to depict the courage it took to confront her mother, and the joy she
found in reconciling with her twin. But her ultimate goal was to unravel her intricate
story, piece it together again, and share her discoveries with readers who might identify
with her experience.
When she isn’t writing, Marilyn can be found shoveling compost around the
coneflowers, hostas, and day lilies that overflow her many flower gardens. She dissects
books with her book club and plays mahjong with her friends—occasionally, but not very
often, winning a game. When the snow piles up in the nearby woodland, she and her
husband put on their X-country skis and glide down the trails. She never stops
marveling at the broad shoulders of the Berkshire Hills, grateful for the contrast they
present to the gloriously wide Minnesota horizon of her childhood.
Marilyn Peterson Haus