Albemarle: A Story of Landscape and American Identity

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9780974270708: Albemarle: A Story of Landscape and American Identity
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In Albemarle, photographer Robert Llewellyn and writer Avery Chenoweth explore how the landscape of Albemarle County, where the Virginia piedmont meets the Blue Ridge Mountains, and its people have helped create an American sense of identity.

Complemented by Llewellyn's luxurious color photography, the narrative rolls back 15,000 years to the first signs of human habitation, continues through the Colonial period, and arrives in the modern era. The story traces the evolving culture of landscape as it has been played out in the lives of historic figures, from the Monacans to the Moderns, Thomas Jefferson to Lady Bird Johnson, Edgar Allan Poe to Teddy Roosevelt. With a sweeping view of aesthetics, spirituality, religion, and history, the book itself is a work of art, essential reading, and viewing, for anyone who has lived in, or been inspired by, the landscape of Albemarle County.

Excerpt:
"From the vast pattern of a landscape to the small enclosure behind the house, we blend the elements of water and flower and fruit into an atmosphere of spiritual intimacy. In this manner of taking care, we follow an ancient path into an emotional landscape where all things are in harmony. And yet the story that we found in the Albemarle landscape is one that expands into larger spaces altogether. This landscape, which we believe is unique, encompasses our earliest ideas of America."

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About the Author:

Avery Chenoweth is a Charlottesville writer whose work has appeared in Harper's, Spy, Lingua Franca, and the New York Times. His novel-in-stories, Wingtips, was short-listed for the Library of Virginia Fiction Prize and nominated for the Sue Kaufman prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Robert Llewellyn has more than 30 books of photography to his credit, including Upland Virginia, The Academical Village, and Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown: America's Historic Triangle. His book, Washington, the Capital, was an official diplomatic gift of the White House and the State Department.

Review:

Albemarle is more than a high-end picture book, though it's sure to look magnificent on many a holiday coffee table.. Llewellyn's photographs are superb, and Chenoweth's essay provocative; the two together represent nothing short of a new genre of art book.

(The Hook Weekly (Charlottesville, VA))

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