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The Midwestern Pastoral: Place and Landscape in Literature of the American Heartland
by William Barillas
Ohio University Press, 2006
eISBN: 978-0-8214-4201-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8214-1660-0
Library of Congress Classification PS273.B37 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.93217340977

Winner of the Midwestern Studies Book Award, The Midwestern Pastoral: Place and Landscape in Literature of the American Heartland relates Midwestern pastoral writers to their local geographies and explains their approaches. William Barrillas treats five important Midwestern pastoralists---Willa Cather, Aldo Leopold, Theodore Roethke, James Wright, and Jim Harrison---in separate chapters. He also discusses Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Thousand Acres, current U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Paul Gruchow, author of Grass Roots, and others. The Midwestern pastoral is a literary tradition of place and rural experience that celebrates an attachment to land that is mystical as well as practical, based on historical and scientific knowledge as well as personal experience. It is exemplified in poetry, fiction, and essays that expresses an informed love of nature and regional landscapes of the Midwest.Drawing on recent studies in cultural geography, environmental history, and mythology, as well as literary criticism, this book will appeal to students and serious readers, as well as scholars in the growing field of literature and the environment. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Barillas is assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is the author of many essays on American literature and the editor of the forthcoming Interior Borderlands: Writings on Latino/a Literature of Chicago and the Midwest.

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