Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Marnie O. Mamminga  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: in Aurora, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Mamminga was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in English. Currently, she resides in Batavia.

Biographical and Professional Information

Marnie Mamminga has been a professional essayist and features writer for more than twenty years. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, and numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is a frequent presenter at writers’ workshops, including the UW’s Wisconsin Writers’ Institute. She also taught junior high and high school English.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts
ISBN: 0870204912

Wisconsin Historical Society Press. 2012

Five generations of Marnie O. Mamminga’s family have been rejuvenated by times together in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. In a series of evocative remembrances accompanied by a treasure trove of vintage family photos, Mamminga takes us to Wake Robin, the cabin her grandparents built in 1929 on Big Spider Lake near Hayward, on land adjacent to Moody’s Camp. Along the way she preserves the spirit and cultural heritage of a vanishing era, conveying the heart of a place and the community that gathered there.

Bookended by the close of the logging era and the 1970s shift to modern lake homes, condos, and Jet Skis, the 1920s to 1960s period covered in these essays represents the golden age of Northwoods camps and cabins—a time when retreats such as Wake Robin were the essence of simplicity. In Return to Wake Robin, Mamminga describes the familiar cadre of fishing guides casting their charm, the camaraderie and friendships among resort workers and vacationers, the call of the weekly square dance, the splash announcing a perfectly executed cannonball, the lodge as gathering place. By tracing the history of one resort and cabin, she recalls a time and experience that will resonate with anyone who spent their summers Up North—or wishes they had.

On a Clear Night: Essays from the Heartland
ISBN: 0870208241

Wisconsin Historical Society Press. 2017

In this dazzling collection, best-selling author Marnie O. Mamminga details the common experiences that unite those of us who live, love, and work in the heart of the country. With insight and humor, Mamminga chronicles a wide range of small but significant everyday moments: the anxiety of taking a teenager out for driving lessons, the nostalgic pleasure of watching the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the heartache of moving an aging parent into a nursing home, and the quiet bliss of sitting on a cabin’s porch, listening for loons and wolves under the Northwoods’ starry sky.
Combining elements of the personal and the universal, these essays chart the passage of time from childhood to adulthood, sickness to health, working life to retirement, parenthood to grandparenthood, and everything in between. These sharply observed vignettes highlight the importance of taking time to appreciate the ordinary occurrences that profoundly shape our lives and the places we call home.


Awards

-- '''''Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts''''' -- *Starred review, Publishers Weekly

-- *One of the Best Reads of Summer, Parade Magazine, 2012