Oz Forever

A brother and sister reawaken the Land of Oz. The bold quest to bring a lost story to life, unearthed for the first time from hundreds of pages of rare archival materials and correspondence.

Matthew Pearl
Truly*Adventurous
Published in
28 min readJul 7, 2020

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Millions would mourn the loss of the dying man, but as far as he was concerned, death was one twist in a much longer journey. Lyman Frank Baum — Frank to friends and L. Frank Baum to fans of his fourteen published books about Dorothy and the land of Oz — shrugged off most of the Protestant traditions with which he grew up in upstate New York. He and his wife Maud had been loyal members of a spiritualist society. They believed people lived multiple times through reincarnation, and that they had known each other across existences.

Frank Baum’s death would come as no surprise by this point, certainly not to Maud nor to Frank himself, as the sixty-two year had been bedridden for months. He had come full circle from being an oft-sickly boy who took refuge in fantastic stories to now being a fantastic storyteller reduced one last time to fragile health. The bushy walrus mustache that gave him the look of a hearty jungle explorer now dwarfed a gaunt face. Even in such a weak state, he still tried to write a new Oz story, though not with anything like the speed with which he had first completed The Wonderful Wizard of Oz twenty years earlier. Back then, the words seemed to arrive from outside himself and the best he could do was grab for any scrap of paper, even envelopes, on which to transcribe them.

Now he mostly slept, watched over by family in the mansion he and Maud had built in…

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Matthew Pearl
Truly*Adventurous

Writer of fiction and nonfiction. Co-founder Truly*Adventurous. 2013 Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction. trulyadventure.usmatthewpearl.com