Resurrection of the Wild: Meditations on Ohio's Natural Landscape
DescriptionWinner, 2020 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
An impassioned call for recognizing and preserving the ecological wonders of the Allegheny Plateau
Yosemite National Park, Louisiana's bayou, the rocky coasts of New England, the desert Southwest--America's more dramatic locations are frequently celebrated for their natural beauty, but far less has been written about Ohio's unique and beautiful environment. Author Deborah Fleming, who has lived in rural Ohio and cared for its land for decades, shares fourteen interrelated essays, blending her own experiences with both scientific and literary research. Resurrection of the Wild discusses both natural and human histories as it focuses on the Allegheny Plateau and hill country in Ohio's eastern counties.
These lyrical meditations delve into life on Fleming's farm, the impacts of the mining and drilling industries, fox hunting, homesteading families, the lives of agriculturalist Louis Bromfield and John Chapman (better known as Johnny Appleseed), and Ohio's Amish community. Fleming finds that our very concept of freedom must be redefined to include preservation and respect for the natural world. Ultimately, Resurrection of the Wild becomes a compelling argument for the importance of ecological preservation in Ohio, and Fleming's perspective will resonate with readers both within and beyond this "forgotten" state's borders.
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About the Author
Deborah Fleming is an equestrian, mountain climber, and organic gardener who writes poetry, fiction, essays, and works of scholarship. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and Ashland University, she has published books on Yeats, Jeffers, and Synge and has edited two collections of essays on Yeats. Three of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes.
"[One of] 9 Dazzling Small-Press Essay Collections You May Have Missed" -- Chicago Review of Books
"In stylish and eloquent prose, Fleming describes pleasures like a walk in the woods: 'In winter the trees seemed all upright trunks, and snow turned the bushes to lace; in spring the dogwood flowered white, and birdsong surrounded me.' She writes about farming and horses in Ashland County, where 'we reuse or recycle all we can.' She talks about working a garden by hand: 'pulling weeds can be a chore or an exercise in natural history.' Her closeness to and love of the land and its creatures permeate the book. Reflections on the work of key environmental figures including Henry David Thoreau and Johnny Appleseed also arise. Through the book's fascinating glimpses of Ohio's history, natural richness, and diversity, the audience becomes acquainted with its forests and parks, wildlife, farmers, and hunters. An especially interesting chapter highlights the state's 'plain people, ' the Amish. Fleming notes that 'for all our wanderings, home is the place that forges our character.' Resurrection of the Wild is a literary journey home that is well worth following. -- Foreword