This, the first title in the Port William series, introduces the rural section of Kentucky with which novelist Wendell Berry has had a lifelong fascination. When young Nathan loses his grandfather, Berry guides readers through the process of Nathan's grief, endearing the reader to the simple humanity through which Nathan views the world. Echoing Berry's own strongly held beliefs, Nathan tells us that his grandfather's life "couldn't be divided from the days he'd spent at work in his fields." Berry has long been compared to Faulkner for his ability to erect entire communities in his fiction, and his heart and soul have always lived in Port William, Kentucky. In this eloquent novel about duty, community, and a sweeping love of the land, Berry gives readers a classic book that takes them to that storied place.
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A native Kentuckian, Wendell Berry lived and taught in New York and California before returning permanently to the Kentucky River region, where he farms on 125 acres in Henry County.From AudioFile:
Wendell Berry's Port William series, set in rural Kentucky, involves the Coulter family and the farming community in which they live. The simplicity of young Nathan Coulter's coming-of-age story, which takes place upon the death of his grandfather, is compelling. Paul Michael's narration authentically captures Nathan's sense of obligation, community, and love of the land. The story portrays profound changes--specifically, the development of agribusiness, which transforms farming and gives birth to moral questions. Michael's rich characterizations of "Old Jack" Beechum's struggles with his wife and town barber Jayber Crow's secret of unrequited love are especially believable. Michael's well-timed delivery enhances Berry's lyrical writing, but instances of animal cruelty and an abrupt ending detract from the story. G.D.W. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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