The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature

by J. Drew Lanham


$16.00 View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


From the fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist J. Drew Lanham.

Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”

By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571313508
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 06/13/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 73,693
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

J. Drew Lanham is a native of Edgefield, South Carolina, and an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University. Lanham is a birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, and in several anthologies, including The Colors of Nature, State of the Heart, Bartram’s Living Legacy, and Carolina Writers at Home, among others. He and his family live in the Upstate of South Carolina, a soaring hawk’s downhill glide from the southern Appalachian escarpment that the Cherokee once called the Blue Wall.

Table of Contents

Me: An Introduction 3


The Home Place 11

Mamatha Takes Flight 35

A Good Name 49

A Field Guide to the Four 67

First-Sunday God 81


Little Brown Icarus 99

Whose Eye Is on the Sparrow 109

Cows 117

Life's Spring 125


The Bluebird of Enlightenment 135

Hoops 143

Birding While Black 151

Jawbone 159

New Religion 173

Thinking 177

Digging 185

Family Reunion 203

Patchwork Legacy 209

Acknowledgments 213

Customer Reviews