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Home Ground
Cover of Home Ground
Home Ground
Language for an American Landscape
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Published to great acclaim in 2006, the hardcover edition of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape met with outstanding reviews and strong sales, going into three printings. A language-lover's dream, Home Ground revitalized a descriptive language for the American landscape by combining geography, literature, and folklore in one volume. Now in paperback, this visionary reference is available to an entire new segment of readers. Home Ground brings together 45 poets and writers to create more than 850 original definitions for words that describe our lands and waters. The writers draw from careful research and their own distinctive stylistic, personal, and regional diversity to portray in bright, precise prose the striking complexity of the landscapes we inhabit. Home Ground includes 100 black-and-white line drawings by Molly O’Halloran and an introductory essay by Barry Lopez.
Published to great acclaim in 2006, the hardcover edition of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape met with outstanding reviews and strong sales, going into three printings. A language-lover's dream, Home Ground revitalized a descriptive language for the American landscape by combining geography, literature, and folklore in one volume. Now in paperback, this visionary reference is available to an entire new segment of readers. Home Ground brings together 45 poets and writers to create more than 850 original definitions for words that describe our lands and waters. The writers draw from careful research and their own distinctive stylistic, personal, and regional diversity to portray in bright, precise prose the striking complexity of the landscapes we inhabit. Home Ground includes 100 black-and-white line drawings by Molly O’Halloran and an introductory essay by Barry Lopez.
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About the Author-
  • Barry Lopez is the author of Arctic Dreams, Of Wolves and Men, Resistance, Light Action in the Caribbean, and eleven other works of fiction and nonfiction. His essays are collected in two books, Crossing Open Ground and About This Life. He contributes regularly to Granta, the Georgia Review, Orion, Outside, the Paris Review, Manoa, and other publications in the United States and abroad. In addition to the National Book Award, he is the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundations. He lives in western Oregon.

    Debra Gwartney is the author of the memoir Live Through This, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in February 2009. She teaches creative writing at Portland State University and lives in western Oregon.

    Molly O'Halloran is an illustrator and cartographer whose work has appeared in volumes of fiction, travel writing, essays, and archaeological editions. She has lived and worked in Chicago, the Upper Sonoran Desert, the northern Sierra Nevada, and the Great Basin and now calls Austin, Texas, home.

    Writers below:

    Jeffery Renard Allen, New York

    Kim Barnes, Idaho

    Conger Beasley, Missouri

    Franklin Burroughs, Maine

    Lan Samantha Chang, Iowa

    Michael Collier, Maryland

    Elizabeth Cox, Massachusetts

    John Daniel, Oregon

    Jan DeBlieu, North Carolina

    William deBuys, New Mexico

    Gretel Ehrlich, California

    Charles Frazier, North Carolina

    Pamela Frierson, Hawaii

    Patricia Hampl, Minnesota

    Robert Hass, California

    Emily Hiestand, Massachusetts

    Linda Hogan, Colorado

    Stephen Graham Jones, Texas

    John Keeble, Washington

    Barbara Kingsolver, Virginia

    William Kittredge, Montana

    Jon Krakauer, Colorado

    Gretchen Legler, Maine

    Arturo Longoria, Texas

    Bill McKibben, New York

    Ellen Meloy, Utah

    Robert Morgan, New York

    Susan Brind Morrow, New York

    Antonya Nelson, Texas

    Robert Michael Pyle, Washington

    Pattiann Rogers, Colorado

    Scott Russell Sanders, Indiana

    Eva Saulitis, Alaska

    Donna Seaman, Illinois

    Carolyn Servid, Alaska

    Kim Stafford, Oregon

    Mary Swander, Iowa

    Arthur Sze, New Mexico

    Mike Tidwell, Maryland

    Luis Alberto Urrea, Illinois

    Luis Verano, Oregon

    D. J. Waldie, California

    Joy Williams, Florida

    Terry Tempest Williams, Utah

    Larry Woiwode, North Dakota

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 28, 2006
    How to define an arroyo
    , badlands
    , eddy
    , a muskeg
    ? What is a desire path
    , a kiss tank
    , a nubble
    ? These words, many forgotten today, refer to various aspects of a landscape to which many of us have lost our connection. Drawing on the polyglot richness of American English, National Book Award–winning author Lopez (Arctic Dreams
    ) assembles 45 writers, known for their intimate connection to particular places, to collectively create a unique American dictionary. Barbara Kingsolver, William Kittredge, Arturo Longoria, Jon Krakauer, Bill McKibben, Antonya Nelson, Luis Alberto Urrea and Joy Williams, among others, vividly describe land and water forms. What is a cofferdam? "Imagine a decorative wishing well, then imagine that well writ large," notes Antonya Nelson. And Patricia Hampl tells us that the Dutch word vly
    (marshy headwaters of a stream) "may have occasioned the name of New York's rowdy Fly Market" in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Many entries quote American explorers and writers such as Herman Melville, Willa Cather, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy, as they uncover layers of etymology and American regional difference. Line drawings enhance geographic understanding; marginal quotations further evoke period and place. This marvelous book enlivens readers to the rich diversity of Americans' complex relationship to the land.

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    Trinity University Press
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Language for an American Landscape
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