The People of the Broken Neck: Illinois

In The People of the Broken Neck, the Sawyer family runs from Maine to Illinois. They stay in New Milford. They're in a mobile home beside the Kishwaukee River. I've been in and on that river. It's still a wild place. A good place for the Sawyers to try to hold their lives together.

This novel coming out has me thinking of all the places in it. Pennsylvania, Maine, Illinois, Washington State. (All of them are places I've been and know. And that I love, too.) I moved from Washington State to Illinois when I was twelve. For a long time, I thought Illinois was ugly. But now I'm haunted by Illinoisan rivers and fields, and its endless runs of snow. I grew up in Rockford, where my dad still owns his home. My brother has a house in New Milford. This is my family's stomping ground.

Here are some photos of the Kishwaukee. And of a mobile home, like the one that the Sawyers stay in, on its banks.

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