Steve Wiegenstein is the author of Slant of Light, This Old World, and The Language of Trees, novels set in the Missouri Ozarks in the 19th Century. Slant of Light follows a group of social reformers who establish a utopian community but whose idealistic dreams quickly come up against the harshness of rural life, the tensions of slave states versus free states, and their own personal failings. Once war breaks out, the colonists are forced to come to terms with their ideals and decide what dreams must be kept and what must be let go. This Old World picks up the colonists’ story after the end of the war, when resentment and retribution dominate the countryside and the utopians seek to restore their ideals in a world that seems to have lost them. The Language of Trees takes place twenty years later, as the Industrial Revolution poses new challenges and opportunities for hope.
Steve is a scholar of 19th-century utopian communities, particularly the Icarian communities of the U.S