November 2019 Book Selection:
“The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature,” by J. Drew Lanham
According to the publisher’s web site (https://milkweed.org/book/the-home-place), “Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way to somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity”—to find joy and freedom in the same land his ancestors were tied to by forced labor, and then to be a black man in a profoundly white field.”
A reader’s guide is available at https://milkweed.org/book/the-home-place .
Lanham’s essay, titled “9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher,” is available at https://orionmagazine.org/article/9-rules-for-the-black-birdwatcher/ .
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