cover of book

Landscape with Bloodfeud
by Wendy Barnes
University of Massachusetts Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-62534-641-4 | eISBN: 978-1-61376-918-8
Library of Congress Classification PS3602.A775656L36 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Scarred by nuclear smokestacks, oil wells, and surging floodwaters, and haunted by the legacies of slavery, racism, and French rule, the Louisiana of Landscape with Bloodfeud is disenchanted but still exerts an undeniable pull. Reckoning with displacement, ancestral guilt, and centuries of human and environmental exploitation, Wendy Barnes dissects the state’s turbulent past—as a microcosm of colonial oppression, westward expansion, and the birth of global capitalism. With an expat’s detachment, our Louisiana-born speaker contemplates her fraught relationship with her home culture and her white working-class roots, raising questions about complicity and shame, as history “bleeds us all for its tax, some for more, / digging down into every wet wound, / digging down among the taproots, under old folks’ / marble tombs or unmarked graves.”

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