Place in Time
One of America’s most acclaimed writers deepens and expands his great literary saga set in small-town Kentucky spanning the Civil War to the present.
For more than fifty years, Wendell Berry has been telling us stories about Port William, a mythical town on the banks of the Kentucky River, populated over the years by a cast of unforgettable characters living in a single place over a long time. In A Place in Time, the stories dates range from 1864, when Rebecca Dawe finds herself in her own reflection at the end of the Civil War, to one from 1991 when Grover Gibbs’ widow, Beulah, attends the auction as her home place is offered for sale.
Written in “a style as clean and distinctive as H—emingway’s” and “as perspicacious as Mark Twain’s” (Booklist, Starred Review), the twenty stories here deepen Berry’s Port William saga, one of the great works in American literature. This collection, the tenth volume in the series, is the perfect occasion to celebrate Berry’s huge achievement. It feels as if the entire membership—all the Catletts, Burley Coulter, Elton Penn, the Rowanberrys, Laura Milby, the preacher’s wife, Kate Helen Branch, Andy’s dog, Mike—nearly everyone returns with a story or two, to fill in the gaps in this long tale. Those just now joining the Membership will be charmed. Those who’ve attended before will be enriched.
“[Berry’s] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America’s agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal.” —Publishers Weekly