By Wendell Berry
(Counterpoint, Hardcover, 9781593760366, 208pp.)
Publication Date: September 2004
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"Ignorant boys, killing each other,” is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife about the Battle of Okinawa in November 1945. Life continued as some boys returned from the war while the lives of others were mourned. Nathan’s wife, Hannah, has time now to tell of the years since the war. In her eighties, twice widowed and alone, Hannah shares her memories: of her childhood, of young love and loss, of raising children and the changing seasons. She turns her plain gaze to a community facing its own deterioration, where, she says, We feel the old fabric torn, pulling apart, and we know how much we have loved each other.” Hannah offers her summation: her stories and her gratitude for membership in Port William. We see her whole life as part of the great continuum of love and memory, grief and strength. Hannah Coulter is the latest installment in Wendell Berry’s long story about the citizens of Port William, Kentucky. In his unforgettable prose, we learn of the Coulters’ children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors live right on.”