Mia Cunningham

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Anna Eikenhout (1902-1986) was an honors graduate of Ohio State University, a fine-arts librarian, a skilled pianist, and an avid reader in three languages. Harlan Hubbard (1900-1988), a little-known painter and would-be shantyboater, seemed an unlikely husband, but together they lived a life out of the pages of Thoreau’s Walden . Much of what is known about the Hubbards comes from Harlan’s books and journals. Concerning the seasons and the landscape, his writing was rapturous, yet he was emotionally reticent when discussing human affairs in general or Anna in particular. Yet it was through her efforts that their life on the river was truly civilized. Visitors to Payne Hollow recall Anna as a generous, gracious hostess, whose intelligence and artistry made the small house seem grander than a mansion.

"Cunningham goes beyond her own experiences and circumstances to find out more about their lives, which gives this portrait well-roundedness."—Ashland Independence

"Cunningham has taken Anna, as the title suggests, out of Harlan’s larger shadow and allows her to occupy her own moment in the limelight."—Bowling Green Daily News

"Offers the reader another side of this fascinating woman. Her motivations, resolve and eventual steely determination to live a life so different from our own make this biography a rewarding read."—Chevy Chaser Magazine

"Meticulously researched and fills many gaps in our knowledge. . . .The narrative is skillfully woven together with the author’s reflections on the feelings Anna rarely allowed anyone to know."—Filson History Quarterly

"Insightful and touching. . . . Takes Anna out of the shadows of her famous husband and reveals a multi-dimensional woman with deep commitments to her husband and the life they chose."—Kentucky Monthly

"Captures the complex markers that rendered an extraordinary, yet difficult, life dynamic."—Lexington Herald-Leader

"Cunningham delivers a rich and compelling story of Anna Hubbard. Her observations of Anna’s life shed light on a woman who tended to remain in the shadows."—Northern Kentucky Heritage

"This lovely book includes excerpts from Anna’s private journal, Anna’s recipes, a selected bibliography with works on the Hubbards, and photos of Anna and Harlan taken on the river boat trips and at Payne Hollow."—Ohioana Quarterly

"Using Anna’s letters and her personal relationship with Anna, Mia Cunningham has both personalized and humanized Anna’s story. This is likely to be the definitive work on Anna Hubbard."—Robert J. Rosenthal

"Cunningham peels back the layers of Anna’s life—first, the biographical facts, then her roles as homemaker and wife to Harlan, and finally her private, secret life, her hidden heart."—Wade Hall

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Anna Hubbard, Payne Hollow, Kentucky


United States History

Anna Hubbard: Out of the Shadows
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