Retrospections on Time and Place
By Robert Root
(University of Nebraska Press, Paperback, 9780803238466, 198pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
series of reflections on finding one’s place in the endless chain of time. In linked essays,
Robert Root ranges across American terrains and landscapes including locales as varied
as Walden Pond and Mesa Verde, the mountains of Montana and the coastline of Maine,
Great Lakes shorelines and Manhattan on the first day of the war with Iraq.
Rich in “all that retrospection,” Postscripts chronicles moments of intimacy and
arrival in the natural world while also charting intersections of natural, cultural, and
personal history. Whether revisiting the first European settlement in Nova Scotia or
seeking out the sites of E. B. White’s life and literature, exploring the only old-growth
forest in Lower Michigan or shifting perceptions at the birth of a granddaughter, Root
offers readers a new perspective on the relationship between time and place, time and
timelessness, history and personal history. If the past is prologue, his book suggests, the
present is postscript.
University and professor emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature
at Central Michigan University. Three of the essays in Postscripts have been cited as
Notable Essays in the annual Best American Essays collections. Root’s books include
Landscapes with Figures: The Nonfiction of Place and Recovering Ruth: A Biographer’s
Tale, both available from the University of Nebraska Press.
find a musical idea in a standard and make it their own; Root offers a rich and generous
account of how a writer is transformed by and can transform great literature.”—Leslie
Carol Roberts, author of The Entire Earth and Sky
“This quiet, contemplative, and profound book is a celebration of love of places from one
of our best thinkers about love of place.”—David Gessner, author of Return of the Osprey
“In Postscripts Robert Root takes you on a tour of iconic American places; the touch is
deft, the conversation deep, and Henry Thoreau and E. B. White, like old friends, seem
always in the next room.”—William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness
“Root’s thoughtful, leisurely essays provide an intriguing glimpse into the interior life
of a scholar and writer deeply engaged not only with the physical world, but with the
historical, literary, and emotional worlds that lie alongside it like ghostly photographic
double exposures.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Readers of Postscripts will similarly be grateful to Root for his lyrical descriptions of
places around North America. They will be moved also by his reflections on time. . . .
Through his essays in Postscripts, Root compels the reader to share his sense of humility
in the face of an ‘enduring and unchangeable natural order’.”--ForeWord