What the River Means

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.84
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 60%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $9.84   
  • New (2) from $28.05   
  • Used (5) from $9.84   


What the River Means is a narrative about growing up, about accepting who we become and how we come to be that way, and about the common influences that shape our lives - often in differing ways. Through memorable stories, Elizabeth Hodges examines the importance of place in who we become and the importance of naming one's world in order to live well in it. She relates memories, trying to make sense of them in ways that will provide some truth in the present day, admitting the lengths that children go to make sense of adult worlds and situations, and to negotiate change and tragedy. What the River Means will be enjoyed by all of us who have a love of and interest in family, in relationships between the generations, and an appreciation of life on a river.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

There's an admirable range within What the River Means, bound together with a strong sense of voice, as if Hodges were in the room with you, reading.
The 17 coming-of-age story essays of Hodges (composition and rhetoric, Virginia Commonwealth U.) emanate from Maryland's Severn River: "the river shaped me to fit its curves and bays." Sections are titled: "Faces pouring past me talking," "Learning to name," and "To feel the cords that bind." Several chapters have appeared elsewhere in earlier forms. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface: Thoughts and Thanks
Sect. I Faces Pouring Past Me Talking 1
My Grandfather and the Fish 3
Baptism I - Vegetable Man 19
Decapitating Crocuses on Easter Morning 26
Baptism II - My Grandmother and the Colonel 38
Death by African Violet 46
Sect. II Learning to Name 67
What the River Meant 69
Baptism III - Learning to Name 86
Blood and Blue Willow 95
Baptism IV - Jim Brew 107
Dreams of Push-Button Eyes 110
Radio Wars 131
The Second Time I Almost Died 145
Baptism V - Gloria Sings 165
Before the Storm 171
Sect. III To Feel the Cords that Bind 185
Crossing with Deer, Providence Road 187
The World When We Are Not In It 200
What the River Means 226
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    A beautiful piece of nonfiction

    An emazing collection that has much to offer any reader, from those interested in nature and region to those fascinated by family and childhood memoir. Elizabeth Hodges shows what creative nonfiction really IS.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)