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Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm (Paperback)

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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

About the Author


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

Praise For…


“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

“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 on Five Thousand Days Like This One

“[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 on Five Thousand Days Like This One

“Lovely . . . This is quite beautiful music, the sound of a family's life that keeps ringing in a daughter's ears.” —Kirkus Reviews on Five Thousand Days Like This One

Product Details
ISBN: 9780865477285
ISBN-10: 0865477280
Publisher: North Point Press
Publication Date: August 25th, 2005
Pages: 208
Language: English