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Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen

McMurtry couldn’t quite set the Bowie knife to the scalp of the Western like Cormac McCarthy did the same year, maybe because he knew those people weren’t grotesque caricatures; they were people he’d known and loved. And when he died last week, he was probably the last person in Archer City who had any connection to those people at all.

Grace Olmstead on Uprooted, Place, Idaho, and Prairie Lupines

Fidelity to place needn’t (and shouldn’t) result in stuckness, a condemnation of ever moving at all. But we must beware falling into that second trap: rejecting roots altogether.

Tending the Soil of our Homes: Gracy Olmstead’s Paean to Roots

At the heart of Gracy Olmstead's book is the conviction that roots do not just serve the individual person or plant—they also are vital to the health of one’s soil, place, and neighbors.

The Roots of Originality

It is only our own town or neighborhood that is specific enough, and someday knowable enough, to enable a capable writer's imagination to imagine it clear and whole.

Made in Vermont

BURNED-OVER DISTRICT, NY. It’s town meeting day in the once and future republic of Vermont.  Herewith, from the American Conservative, my profile of Frank...