Kyran Pittman is often asked how she wound up in Arkansas. Her answer is that she still wakes up wondering the same thing. “Destiny” is not a word that comes to mind when one sees the suburban Little Rock home that Pittman shares with her husband and their three young sons.
Growing up in the seventies, in an unconventional, artistic home, on the “near-mythical” island of Newfoundland off Canada’s rugged east coast, Pittman was both in thrall to and suspicious of the white picket fence. Now that she dwells within its bounds, her outsider’s eye yields keen observations—as she puts it, she is a kind of domestic naturalist, embedded deep in the field.
In 2005, Pittman began recording those observations on a blog, eventually attracting the attention of Good Housekeeping, which reprinted several posts as short essays. When a grocery store check-out lane epiphany led to her first wildly popular feature article for the magazine, it was apparent that a resonant new voice in non-fiction had appeared.
In her vivid and intimate memoir, Planting Dandelions: Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life, (Riverhead; May 2011), Pittman opens her front door and walks us through the first twelve years in the life of a family.
Describing the book as “an apronful of stories carried breathlessly up to the fence by that strange woman in town, me.” Pittman represents her experience in all its drama, humor and depth.