One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty t
By Richard Horan
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061861680, 384pp.)
Publication Date: May 2011
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From the wooded road made of golden hemlock running past L. Frank Baum's childhood home to the lonely stump of Scout's oak in Harper Lee's Alabama, author Richard Horan gathers tree seedsand storiesfrom the homes of America's most treasured authors. At once a heartfelt paean to literature and a wise, funny, and uplifting account of one man's reconnection with nature, Seeds celebrates Horan's triumphs and calamities on his quest to link trees with great writersa delightfully original meditation on the nature of inspiration and a one-of-a-kind adventure into literature.
Richard Horan is a novelist, English teacher, and book reviewer for several national publications. His novel Goose Music was a finalist for the Great Lakes Fiction Award and won the ForeWord Book of the Year Bronze Medal. He is also the author of Seeds: One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty to Wharton. He lives in Oswego, New York.
“What an invigorating way to be reminded of the depth of America’s literary and natural heritage!”
-Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“Horan goes to find the trees, and we have the good luck to accompany him. The pleasures of travel, literature, and history are all richly present in this rare and engaging book. Horan comes to us as a friend, not a teacher, and wins our hearts.”
-William Bryan Logan, author of Oak: The Frame of Civilization
“Seeds is more than a book: this sashay across literary America plants a literal sacred grove. Horan sees the cloud floating inside every work of literature. He helps redeem every tree that ever died for our solace and delight.”
-David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why
“Seeds reads like a talk between John Muir and Bill Bryson. Horan takes an unlikely premise and takes a journey that’s poignant, insightful and unexpectedly humorous. More than a book about seeds—it’s about literary heroes, forensic forestry and self-discovery.”
-Spike Carlsen, author of A Splintered History of Wood
“In Seeds, Horan pays homage to famous American writers and the trees of their youth. Horan is a terrific writer, and very funny at times!”
-Amy Goldman, naturalist and author of 3 books on heirloom seeds
“Once in a decade a book as good as Seeds appears to astonish and delight us. Some of his tales are full of interesting lore, others are touching, more than a few are funny as hell.”