Clearing Land

Legacies of the American Farm

Jane Brox

North Point Press

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"A moving, graceful elegy for the American farm." --Larry Zuckerman, author of The Potato

"Nonfiction literature of a high and lasting order . . . Clearing Land, [Brox's] third book, parlays the resonantly detailed specifics of life on her immigrant family's farm in Massachusetts into a larger consideration of the meaning of cleared land and its relationship to other iconic locations in the American landscape: wilderness, prairie, mountain, city. Her precise, eloquent prose, wedded to a sensibility that manages to be at once elegiac and hard-minded, strikes unerringly through sentiment and convention to the heart of the matter . . . The result is a deeply affecting conclusion to her trilogy of books about living the consequences of natural process, human desire and the shifting balance between them."
-Carlo Rotella, Chicago Tribune

"Sings with the joy of life . . . Brox knows farming, but she knows writing even better . . . Clearing Land is a treasure."
-Jules Wagman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Clearing land is the book's guiding metaphor, one that encompasses both time and space, and serves brilliantly to compare the material world and its flux with our attempts to understand it. . . This [Brox] does with eloquent melancholy."
-Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe

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Book Excerpts

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Clearing Land
1INHERITANCE 
 
Horseman, pass by, I used to whisper as the sirens made their long way down the road from the center of town. Now: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven gone out of a generation--my father, both his sisters, four of his six brothers. They had possessed a collective strength that gave definition not only to the family but to the farm itself, to the hundred acres of woods and streambeds, fields and orchards we have called ours that lie across the worn coastal hills north of Boston. I know time itself helped to establish a sense of security, time

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Reviews

Praise for Clearing Land

"Jane Brox has written a moving, graceful elegy for the American farm by way of narrating what land has meant to her family and herself. Anyone interested in how land figures in our lives, our history, and our culture will want to read her clear-eyed take on this vital issue. A lovely book." --Larry Zuckerman, author of The Potato

"This masterful collage of memoir and history both explodes and reorders the mythos of the American family farm. Grounded in the experience of her own inherited farm in New England, the author plants words, ideas and emotions with precision and daring." --Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn and My Kitchen Wars

Praise for Jane Brox's Five Thousand Days Like This One:

"Brox delicately interweaves the voices of her late father, Henry David Thoreau and immigrant mill workers in the early 20th century in this elegant meditation on life in the Merrimack Valley in Massachussets . . . This is a clear-eyed and cogent history of farming, immigrant life and one American family written in prose that sparkles like the Merrimack River once did." --Publishers Weekly

"[Brox] recounts her family history with nostalgia for the lost beauty of the land but this is no lament. Her writing evokes a love for the past coupled with the hope of saving part of the heritage that shaped the valley and its people. Her story has universal appeal." --School Library Journal

"Lovely . . . This is quite beautiful music, the sound of a family's life that keeps ringing in a daughter's ears." --Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Jane Brox

Jane Brox is the author of Here and Nowhere Else, which received the L. L. Winship/ PEN New England Award, and Five Thousand Days Like This One, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Maine.

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Available Formats and Book Details

Clearing Land
Legacies of the American Farm
Jane Brox

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
September 2005
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780865477285
ISBN10: 0865477280
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 208 pages, Notes
$14.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
September 2005
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466807297
ISBN10: 1466807296
208 pages
$9.99
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North Point Press

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