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New Memoir interweaves South Dakota Childhood with South Korea Trip


In the spring of 2006, South Dakota State University English Professor Mary Woster Haug went to South Korea with her husband, Ken, on a university exchange program. Although she’d always dreamed of living in a foreign country, Korea didn’t interest her at first. But with the urging of their daughter, she and her husband decided to make the trip.

In her new memoir, Daughters of the Grasslands: Through the Looking Glass of Korea, Haug writes about her experiences in South Korea and connects them to her upbringing in Lyman County, South Dakota, west of the Missouri River. At the heart of the book is Haug’s relationship with her mother, who died two years before the trip to South Korea.

Haug joined Dakota Midday and said that she originally set out to write a travel book, but it evolved into a personal memoir - which was an uncomfortable experience for a usually private person.

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