Advertisement

THE INLAND GROUND: An Evocation of the...

THE INLAND GROUND: An Evocation of the American Middle West by Richard Rhodes (University Press of Kansas: $12.95, illustrated). The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “A Hole in the World” describes people, places and events on the Great Plains in this exceptional collection of personal essays, originally published in 1969 and revised in 1991. With thinly veiled contempt, he describes the good ole boys who hunt coyotes from CB-radio-coordinated trucks and watch roosters fitted with steel spurs kill each other in the name of sport. In “Wheat,” he notes the irony of Americans praising the grain in “our favorite natural hymn,” while eating “more meat than any other major people in the world,” and offers a devastating parody of Middle American bad taste in “Cupcake Land.” In his most moving essay, Rhodes describes the tragedy of the Amerindians he sees reflected in an Osage dance ceremony: “The Cherokee Trail of Tears extended from Tennessee out to the Panhandle, but the Osage trail of tears went around a dirt dance floor in the middle of the Oklahoma prairie under a pounding line storm. There was as much pain in the one as in the other, and as much memory.”


Advertisement
Advertisement