There is Still a ‘There’ There: The Atopian Dreams of Suzannah Lessard

This review by Heartlands editor Alex Joyner originally appeared in the Eastertide 2019 print edition of the Englewood Review of Books  (now available) and is republished with permission. It’s quaint to live in a place like Parksley. Though the name refers to the original owner from whom the land for the town was bought, one Benjamin Parks, it […]

Little Houses and Big Truths on the Prairie: Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder

It takes a lot of work to uncover what really happened to the vast prairies of the North American Midwest.  You have to dig under Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous 1890 declaration that the frontier had made America what it was and now it was gone.  Pioneer famers, Turner said, had busted sod, felled forests, and […]

Why We Don’t Care About ‘The National Water Situation’

“For all my love of rivers, ‘our nation’s rivers’ have not moved me once.  The rivers that move me are those I’ve fished, canoed, slept beside, lived on, nearly drowned in, dreamed about, sipped tea and wine by, taught my kids to swim in, pulled a thousand fish from, fought and fought to defend.  I’ve […]

“S-Town” and the sordid underbelly of this American life

This week I finished listening to “S-Town,” the latest buzzy podcast from the folks who brought us “This American Life,” and “Serial.”  Like a trip to the all-you-can-eat buffet, it was great while it lasted but made me feel various degrees of queasy when it was all over, and least of all because of all […]