Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio

Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio


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Winner of the Ohioana Library’s 2008 Ohio Legacy Citation
2014-2015 Choose to Read Ohio selection

“A good place to be from.” That’s how some people might characterize the Buckeye State. The writings in Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio, are testimony to the truth of that statement. By prominent writers such as P. J. O’Rourke, Susan Orlean, and Alix Kates Shulman, these contributions are alternately nostalgic, irreverent, and sincere, and offer us a personal sense of place. Their childhoods are as varied as their work. Some were raised in urban Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati, others in the small Ohio towns that typify the Midwest, and still others in the countryside. Yet what they have to tell us about their roots resonates with a shared heritage, a sense of what is universal and enduring about growing up in the heartland.

Their collective résumé reads like a literary Who’s Who, including four Pulitzer Prizes, several National Book Awards, and many prestigious fellowships. Good Roots is also plain good reading from some of our country’s most accomplished contemporary writers.

Contributors include: Jill Bialosky, Dan Cryer, Michael Dirda, Elizabeth Dodd, Anthony Doerr, Rita Dove, Ian Frazier, Dale Keiger, Andrea Louie, Kathleen Dean Moore, Mary Oliver, Susan Orlean, P. J. O’Rourke, Julie Salamon, Scott Russell Sanders, Alix Kates Shulman, Jeffery Smith, James Toedtman, and Mark Winegardner.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821417294
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2007
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Ohio native Lisa Watts is an editor and writer who raised her family in a small Ohio town for ten years.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Goofy Ohio Stories and Other Sweet Things   R. L. Stine     xi
Introduction: Looking for Roots   Lisa Watts     xv
City Sensibilities
Fathers in the Snow, and Other Selected Poems     3
Sweet Lorain     13
Grace Notes     21
Pool Buddy     31
Why It's Good to Come from Nowhere     37
The Known to Which I Return     47
Small-Town Nice
Preacher's Kid     57
Out of Ohio     69
Two Towns, Arguing     85
This Is the Place     93
Heroes and Tree Huts     105
Decoction     113
In Fields and Woods
In Such a Homecoming     127
We Are Mapmakers     143
The Mere Breath of Sheep     149
Geese and Crows     161
Answers     169
After the Flood     177
Salamanders and Sycamores: A Natural History     189
Afterword: Toward a Literature of the Midwest   Mark Winegardner     197

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