"In the literature of place, Deborah Tall’s book stands out for its delicacy, range of learning, and refreshing frankness."—Phillip Lopate
"A worthy contribution to the growing field of landscape studies.. . . Like Thoreau, who claimed to have travelled much in Concord, the author of From Where We Stand has travelled much—widely and deeply—in the Finger Lakes."—New York History
"There has been a spate of books nominally about finding a sense of place but more accurately described as quests for community, or for home. . . . The best of the lot is Tall’s book about putting down roots in Geneva, New York."—Utne Reader
Why does a particular landscape move us? What is it that attaches us to a particular place? Tall’s From Where We Stand is an eloquent exploration of the connections we have with places—and the loss to us if there are no such connections. A typically rootless child of several American suburbs, Tall set out to make a true home for herself in the landscape that circumstance had brought her—the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. In a mosaic of personal anecdotes, historical sketches, and lyrical meditations, she interweaves her own story with the story of this place and its people—from the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois, to European settlers, to the many utopians who sensed and were inspired by a spiritual resonance here. This edition includes an introduction by William Kittredge and a foreword by Stephen Kuusisto, both highlighting the book’s significance and Tall’s exquisite skill in tracing the relationship between homelands and storytelling.
Deborah Tall (1951–2006) is the author of five collections of poetry, and two prose works -- a memoir of her life in rural Ireland in the 1970s, The Island of the White Cow, and a book-length lyric essay, A Family of Strangers, about history, silence and family secrets. For many years, she taught writing and literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and edited the literary journal Seneca Review.