Friday, July 31, 2009

prairyerth and the atlas

William T. Vollmann’s latest book, "Imperial", released this week is a comprehensive collection of stories about a county in California by the same name. Reading the advance reviews, it reminds me a great deal of William Least-Heat Moon’s PrairyErth(1991), his “deep map” of Chase County Kansas, just west of Emporia, some of the last remaining tallgrass prairie in America. I’m about halfway through Vollmann’s “The Atlas” (1996), a collection of travel sketches and impressions. This is my first Vollmann book and I’m hooked for a number of reasons, one of which is he seems not to be judgmental. He relates and describes…

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