Carla Emery

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Carla Emery
Carla Emery.jpg
Born Carlotta Louise Harshbarger
January 19, 1939
Los Angeles, California
Died October 11, 2005
Odessa, Texas
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Alma mater Roosevelt University, B.A., Poly. Sci.)
Spouse(s) Mike Emery, div. 1985; Donald DeLong, November 25, 2000 to October 11, 2005 (her death)

Carla (Carlotta Louise Harshbarger) Emery DeLong (January 19, 1939 – October 11, 2005). Emery was born in Los Angeles where her parents had gone in search of employment after being displaced from their Washington State home by a crop failure. Emery grew up as a rancher's daughter in Montana after her parents moved there during her infancy (her father, Carl Harshbarger, had worked as chauffeur for Dorothy Lamour in Los Angeles for about two years, and had saved enough funds to buy some land there). Emery was a proponent of organic farming, the "back-to-the-land movement", and author of the Encyclopedia of Country Living. Emery opened the "School of Country Living" in Kendrick, Idaho in 1976, with her husband Mike Emery, to teach homesteading skills. The "School" was destroyed by a flash flood the next year, and could not successfully be reestablished. Mike and Carla divorced in 1985. Carla married constitutionalist legal scholar (with a special interest in Title 18, Oath of Office) Donald DeLong November 25, 2000 and moved to San Simon, Arizona.

Carla self-published the first mimeographed edition of the Encyclopedia under the title An Old-Fashioned Recipe Book. Although she began intending to write a book, she published it in installments starting in 1970 as she wrote it, as if it were a newsletter. The first complete book was finished in March 1974. By the end of 1975 she had sold 13,000 copies. Around that time the book was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the "largest mimeographed volume in general circulation" (700 pages) and was listed as having sold the most copies of a self-published guide: 45,000 mimeographed copies as of 1977. The author believed that it might set a record for the most typographical errors in a book of its size, but reported that she did not have time to count them.

In the mid-70's Emery made several television appearances, including on "The Mike Douglas Show, "Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" and "Good Morning, America," and even demonstrated goat-milking on "Donahue".

Emery's book did not find a commercial publisher until the 7th edition, when it was published by Bantam in 1977. The most recent edition of the Encyclopedia, the "updated 10th edition," was published by Sasquatch Books in 2008. (ISBN 1-57061-553-5). A new "40th Anniversary Edition" is due out October 31, 2012, published by Sasquatch Books (ISBN 1-57061-840-6).

During the 1990s Emery researched somnambulism, hypnosis, and mind control. She wrote a second book, Secret--Don't Tell: The Encyclopedia of Hypnosis, published in 1998. The book criticized hypnosis in general, and what the author considered to be its unethical uses.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living presents an exhaustive overview of virtually every topic relevant to homesteading and self-sufficiency.

On October 11, 2005, while on a speaking tour, Emery died in Odessa, Texas of complications from low blood pressure.

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