Norma Thorstad Knapp—Scorcia Roads

About the Book: 

Scorcia Roads is a dynamic memoir set mostly in the barren prairie of western North Dakota, where hardship and heartbreak are mirrored in the landscape. In this captivating read of short stories with letters to her sister, Knapp shows us how living with loss, abuse, divorce, poverty, and domestic violence can give us life lessons.

After each letter, Knapp writes heart-rending stories about living in twenty different houses in her first twenty-one years. This is a touching meditation on what it means to love, lose, accept, and negotiate fate’s obstacle courses. The memoir is filled with Knapp’s towns and landscapes, which changed from the sweet safe ’40s and ’50s to today's chaotic world of a blistering oil boom.

Throughout, Scorcia Roads contains tidbits on North Dakota’s and our nation’s histories; the Norwegian immigration and their early mores and traditions; and how family can provide a safety net to bind us together. Ultimately, Scoria Roads is a profound affirmation of the importance of hope, love, caring teachers, resiliency, and extended family.

About the Author: 

Norma Thorstad Knapp grew up in western North Dakota, Idaho, and Oregon. Her family moved often, giving her a rich foundation for writing. After college, she worked as a registered nurse, educator, crisis counselor, youth specialist, and bereavement facilitator in cities in North Dakota, Texas, and Minnesota. She has published numerous stories, essays and poems; several short stories and a sermon have won awards. Her days are full with reading, writing, traveling, time with grandchildren, creating note cards, and hospice volunteer bereavement work. She has a grown daughter and son and four grandchildren.