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Let Us Build Us a City: Eleven Lost Towns [Kindle Edition]

Donald Harington
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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

Let Us Build Us a City is a group portrait of 11 "lost towns" in Donald Harington's native Arkansas. Yet this is no mere backwoods travelogue. His book, the author tells us, is "the story of communities that aspired to dignity and achieved serenity." These are towns, in other words, whose ambitious founders never quite managed to merge imagination with reality. "How does a once-flourishing town aspiring to call itself 'City' endure the long days of its decline?" asks Harington. The answer, in most cases, is quite well--though not perhaps in the way its inhabitants intended. One need not be familiar with Arkansas to appreciate this tour of lonely highways; there are lost towns everywhere. But seldom are they explored with such joy and wonder as in this gem of a book.

For all its brilliance, Let Us Build Us a City is nearly impossible to classify. It fuses the travel narrative with history and cultural studies--yet it reads like a novel. It's also a love story that is in no way fictional. Harington begins with a letter from a woman named Kim, who writes to praise his earlier book, Some Other Place, the Right Place. (Since the latter work is itself about a young couple's exploration of ghost towns and their subsequent romance, things immediately get off to a metafictional start.) Kim's letter leads to regular correspondence, in which she details the research she's conducting in one-horse towns throughout Arkansas. The author encourages her, she inspires him, and they agree to collaborate on a book--this one. By the time they meet, they too have learned something of expectation and hope. (Yes, they do get married, although you'll have to read the acknowledgments for details of the ceremony.)

Ultimately, Harington's book is a search for the spirit of each individual place--which is to say, the people. These lost towns are populated by dreamers, outcasts, prevaricators, drunks, madmen, and hermits. There are tales of floods, fires, gold rushes, gunshots, feuds, booms and (mostly) busts, along with other tidbits so strange they could only be true. By themselves, these would be deeply entertaining yarns. In Harington's hands, however, they amount to eloquent requiems for all his stunted cities. And perhaps these Arkansans traded in their dashed dreams for something better. After all, serenity is an admirable quality in a town, even if it happens to be an accidental one. --Shawn Carkonen

Kurzbeschreibung

This work brilliantly fuses travel narrative with history and cultural studies—yet reads like a novel. It’s also a love story that is in no way fictional. A fan letter to the author from a woman named Kim starts a correspondence which details research she’s conducting in one-horse towns throughout Arkansas.In the years of rural decline many of these towns dwindled to church, post office, general store, gas station, and a few rundown houses—but every house has a porch, every porch a rocker, and every rocker an old man or woman with a story.Kim and Don agree to collaborate on a book—this one—creating a unique and enchanting work about towns that will never again be their old selves and towns that never fulfilled the brave dreams of their founders. And at the end of the adventure the author and Kim meet, having learned something of expectation and hope—and love. With photos and maps.

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 3345 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 584 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1612181058
  • Verlag: Lake Union Publishing (29. November 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B0060OK9K6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #157.529 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen An American classic. 24. Mai 1998
Format:Taschenbuch
In this odd mix of travelogue, Americana, love story and history, Donald Harington shows us not just lost cities and lost people and places, but what he calls "lost places in the heart, of vanished life in the hidden places of the soul". And the beautiful thing, the redemption, is that these places aren't lost. In Harington's elegant prose they live on, and will live on as long as this book is read. It deserves to be read in every American history class in the country, because in this book his remembrances and his curiosity open new worlds, just next to and behind this one. Towards the end, when he includes a poem by Richard Hugo, it's as if he's bottled something inside you that you felt but didn't know. A tremendous achievement of remembrance.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 von 5 Sternen  20 Rezensionen
32 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An American classic. 24. Mai 1998
Von jrossa@javanet.com - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
In this odd mix of travelogue, Americana, love story and history, Donald Harington shows us not just lost cities and lost people and places, but what he calls "lost places in the heart, of vanished life in the hidden places of the soul". And the beautiful thing, the redemption, is that these places aren't lost. In Harington's elegant prose they live on, and will live on as long as this book is read. It deserves to be read in every American history class in the country, because in this book his remembrances and his curiosity open new worlds, just next to and behind this one. Towards the end, when he includes a poem by Richard Hugo, it's as if he's bottled something inside you that you felt but didn't know. A tremendous achievement of remembrance.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Treasure Found Off the Beaten Path 9. Januar 2001
Von C. Ebeling - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
It gives me faith in the publishing industry to find this wonderful book still in print. Donald Harington was an established Arkansas novelist when a reader named Kim wrote him out of the blue expressing the inspiration she drew from one of his stories. Harington was lecturing out of state at the time but he responded with encouragement for a project looking into the history of Arkansas places that had "City" in the name and were anything but. So, Kim took off, doing the leg work and dispatching her findings to Harington who eventually shaped them into this symphony of historical fact and human tragedies and comedies. As soon has he was able, he caught up with Kim and the two became instant soul mates. Their own story is woven into this unique blend of fact and imaginative invocation of original intentions and relinquished dreams. A pleasure to read, it sparks curiosity about the cities that never grew up in your own state (the author includes a state by state list) and a desire to go learn their stories. This is a unique story, very human, very American.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A contemplative look at the joy and wonder to be discovered in hidden Arkansas history 17. August 2008
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Award-winning author Donald Harington originally published Let Us Build Us a City in 1986; now in a beautiful new edition, this thoughtful collection of stories about eleven forgotten small towns in Arkansas remains a pristine glimpse into history. Some of the forgotten towns gradually dwindled and declined to little more than a church, a post office, a general store, a gas station, and a handful of residents; other overlooked towns were never terribly memorable to begin with. Donald Harington learned of these towns' stories through his connection with a researcher named Kim, and eventually Harrington and Kim fell in love. Let Us Build a City is a contemplative look at the joy and wonder to be discovered in hidden Arkansas history, and as enjoyable to read today as it was over twenty years ago.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Discovery 25. Mai 2009
Von audreydog - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Ah, this book was a delight. A couple of relatives of mine are in the 'Cherokee City' section. They are no longer with us, so it was good to see their stories in print. I've read this book twice. During my second pass through it, I actually re-created the trip around Arkansas, and was able to find most of the buildings that were pictured in the book. They have aged a lot in the last 20+ years, as have we all. Please, reader, pick this book up and read it. You will not regret it.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen 11 stories of Arkansas 18. Februar 2012
Von Alice J. Townsend - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I was always confounded by my parents love for the Ozarks. When they retired and built their dream home in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, it seemed the most unlikely place to live out the end of their lives. It was impossible to get to without a 3 leg journey by commercial airline, puddle jumper and car. I was only able to visit them about 4 times in their 15 years there. This novel explores the same territory through the eyes of two history lovers, and reveals the reasons why my parents loved the area so much they were both willing to die there. The writing is as unique and beautiful as the folk-lore found in the bluffs and valleys around the White and Arkansas Rivers.
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