Molly Gloss Fishtrap

Novelist Molly Gloss is the author of “The Jump-Off Creek,” the selection in 2023’s “Fishtrap Reads” series.

When I was young, there was talk of invisible women, the women “behind the successful man.” They had the babies, made the food, were the Cub Scout den mothers and served on the PTA. Husbands brought home the bread. Women got their pictures in the paper with Cub Scout boys and Brownie girls, and maybe, at election time with the League of Women Voters, but they didn’t run for office or run the bank (where they needed a husband to sign for a loan).

Molly Gloss is younger than I am, but grew up with the same set of unwritten rules and expectations regarding women. She also grew up a reader, going to the library with her dad and consuming all of the Westerns on the shelves. And later, when she was a mother herself and had decided to be a writer, she thought about all those Westerns she’d read. Where were the women?


Rich Wandschneider is the director of the Josephy Library of Western History and Culture.

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