The essays in The Gift of Good Land are as true today as when they were first published in 1981; the problems addressed here are still true and the solutions no nearer to hand. The insistent theme of this book is the interdependence, the wholeness, the oneness of people, land, weather, animals, and family. To touch one is to tamper with them all. We live in one functioning organism whose separate parts are artificially isolated by our culture. Here, Berry develops the compelling argument that the “gift” of good land has strings attached. We have it only on loan and only for as long as we practice good stewardship.
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About the Author
Well Berry has worked a farm in Henry County, Kentucky, for some two decades. He is a past fellow of both the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and he received an award for his writing from the National Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters in 1971. He has emerged as an eloquent spokesman for conservation, common sense, and sustainable agriculture, topics he has pursued in The Unsettling of America and in Meeting the Expectations of the Land (coedited with Wes Jackson and Bruce Colman). His poetry includes A Part, The Wheel and Collected Poems: 1957-1982. His novels have included Nathan Coulter and A Place on Earth, and among his other collections of essays are Recollected Essays: 1965-1980 and Standing by Words. He is a writer with a rare combination of intelligence, eloquence, and integrity; as Wallace Stegner has written, "It is hard to say whether I like this writer better as a poet, an essayist, or a novelist. He is all three, at a high level."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having read other Wendel Berry books I found this to be yet another fine thought provoking work by a hands-on farmer/scholar/author. More than worth the price of admission.