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Trace : Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape
by Lauret Edith Savoy


Overview - Winner of the ASLE Creative Writing Award
Winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation
Finalist for the PEN American Open Book Award
Finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Shortlisted for the Orion Book Award

"I stand in awe of Lauret Savoy's wisdom and compassionate intelligence.  Read more...


 
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More About Trace by Lauret Edith Savoy
 
 
 
Overview
Winner of the ASLE Creative Writing Award
Winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation
Finalist for the PEN American Open Book Award
Finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Shortlisted for the Orion Book Award

"I stand in awe of Lauret Savoy's wisdom and compassionate intelligence. Trace is a crucial book for our time, a bound sanity, not a forgiveness, but a reckoning." --Terry Tempest Williams

Sand and stone are Earth's fragmented memory. Each of us, too, is a landscape inscribed by memory and loss. One life-defining lesson Lauret Savoy learned as a young girl was this: the American land did not hate. As an educator and Earth historian, she has tracked the continent's past from the relics of deep time; but the paths of ancestors toward her--paths of free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and peoples indigenous to this land--lie largely eroded and lost.

In this provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across a continent and time, Savoy explores how the country's still unfolding history, and ideas of "race," have marked her and the land. From twisted terrain within the San Andreas Fault zone to a South Carolina plantation, from national parks to burial grounds, from "Indian Territory" and the U.S.-Mexico Border to the U.S. capital, Trace grapples with a searing national history to reveal the often unvoiced presence of the past.

In distinctive and illuminating prose that is attentive to the rhythms of language and landscapes, she weaves together human stories of migration, silence, and displacement, as epic as the continent they survey, with uplifted mountains, braided streams, and eroded canyons.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781619025738
  • ISBN-10: 1619025736
  • Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
  • Publish Date: November 2015
  • Page Count: 240
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Travel > Essays & Travelogues
Books > History > United States - General
Books > History > Historical Geography

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-09-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

In reverential, elegiac prose, Savoy (The Colors of Nature), a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, meditates on the meaning of history and identity as related to place. Savoys parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and people indigenous to this land, and she has long felt estranged from time and place, uncertain of where home lies. In trying to connect with her familys past, she travels to Oklahoma, where she was told some ancestors may have lived. She spends a day in the Black Heritage Center archives at Langston University, learning of early African-American homesteads, and visits the rural town of Boley, Okla., founded in 1903 on land owned by Creek Indian freedwoman Abigail Barnett. Though Savoy does not unearth any concrete evidence linking her mothers family to the area, she gains further appreciation for the lives people lived and the hardships they endured. Exploring her fathers familial ties to Washington, D.C., Savoy contrasts the slavery-oriented history of that invented place with the enthusiastically mixed crowd she saw during the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Savoys deep knowledge of the land opens up intriguing new avenues for exploring the multifaceted, tumultuous nature of American identity. (Nov.)

 
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