Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (American Lives)

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9780803227514: Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (American Lives)
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Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska—an area known as the Bohemian Alps. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention. Memories of his grandmother’s cooking are juxtaposed with reflections about the old-fashioned outhouse on his property. When casting his eye on social progress, Kooser reminds us that the closing of local schools, thoughtless county weed control, and irresponsible housing development destroy more than just the view.

In the end, what makes life meaningful for Kooser are the ways in which his neighbors care for one another and how an afternoon walking with an old dog, or baking a pie, or decorating the house for Christmas can summon memories of his Iowa childhood. This writer is a seer in the truest sense of the word, discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, the deep beneath the shallow, the abiding wisdom in the pithy Bohemian proverbs that are woven into his essays.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Ted Kooser's Local Wonders is the quietest magnificent book I've ever read." --Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall.

"Local Wonders takes its luminous place in the time-honored tradition of seasonal contemplation within a cherished place. It is a companionate book -- bright of eye and wit, warm with the details and reflections of the world." --Merrill Gilfillan, author of Grasshopper Falls.

"Kooser claims he doesn't like to travel, but for someone who stays put, he does an awful lot of sightseeing. Hindsight, foresight, near sight, far sight, insight, out of sight, you name it -- Local Wonders takes us both 'out far' and 'in deep.'" --Judith Kitchen, author of Only the Dance: Essays on Time and Memory.

Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the Bohemian Alps of southeastern Nebraska. Like many other people in this rural area, he has what he calls "wolf vision" -- he sees every change in the landscape around him. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention. Memories of his grandmother's cooking are juxtaposed with reflections about the old-fashioned outhouse on his property.

In the end, what makes life meaningful for Kooser are the ways in which his neighbors care for one another and how an afternoon walking with an old dog, or baking a pie, or decorating the house for Christmas can summon memories of his Iowa childhood. This writer is a seer in the truest sense of the word, discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, the deep beneath the shallow, the abiding wisdom in the pithy Bohemian proverbs that are woven into his essays. And when casting his eye on social progress, Kooser reminds us that the closing of local schools, thoughtless county weed control, and irresponsible housing development destroy more than just the view. At stake are communities, as well as families, our health, and arguably our very souls.

About the Author:

Ted Kooser is a visiting professor of English at the University of Nebraska and a retired insurance executive. His poetry has appeared in nine special collections and eight books, including Winter Morning Walks: 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison and Weather Central.

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Kooser, Ted
Published by University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, U.S.A. (2002)
ISBN 10: 0803227515 ISBN 13: 9780803227514
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