by Richard Quinney
The place is the middle border, the Midwest borderland remembered in the writings of Hamlin Garland. Richard Quinney's autobiographical essays begin with his birth and early years on the family farm in southern Wisconsin, continue through a lifetime of movement away from the farm, and document a return to the farm. Along the way, there are the tales of the years of living and writing in a prairie town across the border. Part of the return of the native is a remembrance of his father and mother. In the most recent telling, Quinney is still moving between town and country. But it is always to the farm, the farm on the middle border, that he returns.
In the tradition of the pilgrimage, the author is on a journey. Along the way tales are told, reminding us of the tales told by Chaucer's travelers on the way to Canterbury. Autobiographical reflection allows the narrator to move in time and space across a geographical landscape. Writing, as storytelling, documents the travel and provides the possibility of a homecoming. The impulse to write autobiographically is to know the present and, at the same time, to apprehend what is yet to be. Lives are saved and renewed in the telling of these tales. Such is the good fortune of the storyteller.
184 pp. 5 3/8 x 8 inches