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by Neltje


The remarkable life of a woman born to wealth, who leaves society to make her own singular path in life

Imagine a world of Gatsby-esque glamour, opulence, and cultural prestige, of exclusive parties and elegant dinners, of literary luminaries including Somerset Maugham, Daphne du Maurier, Irving Stone, and Theodore Roethke, of Manhattan townhouses and country estates. This is a world where children are raised by nannies, tutors, chauffeurs, gardeners, butlers, maids, and assorted staff, sent off to private schools—and largely ignored by their parents.

Publishing magnate Nelson Doubleday’s daughter, Neltje, was raised to assume her place as a society matron. But beneath a seemingly idyllic childhood, darker currents ran: a colorful but alcoholic father whose absences left holes, a mother incapable of love, a family divided by money and power struggles, and a secret that drove the young woman into emotional isolation.

In North of Crazy, Neltje tells the story of her young life, and how she broke away to become an artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Poignant, witty, sharply observed, and candid on every page, North of Crazy follows one wealthy girl’s conventional path—until she jumped the tracks to find a remote, beautiful, and completely individual way of her own.

Neltje is an abstract expressionist painter. She has had solo exhibitions at the University of Wyoming Art Museum and Yellowstone Art Museum among others, and galleries in Miami, Denver, and Chattanooga. In 2005 she received the Wyoming Governor’s Art Award. Neltje has endowed the Neltje Blanchan Award for the best nature writer in Wyoming, The Frank Nelson Doubleday Award for the best woman writer in Wyoming, as well as the Jentel Foundation Artist Residency Program. She lives in Wyoming.