In his introductory essay to Landscapes with Figures, Robert Root writes, “The nonfiction of place includes literary works in which setting has such a presence in its impact upon characters or events or atmosphere that specific place is inextricable.” Many of the essays in Chrysopoeia express the sense of place. As the list of countries and regions traveled to in the writing of these essays demonstrates, being in those spaces is an important part of the narrative and meaning-making. The essays in Chrysopoeia weave time and location to explore the tensions and opportunities of family and place. Readers will learn about calendar-keeping, a lost madonna, prayer trees, sculpture gardens, and enchanted cuisine. Readers will travel to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Ireland’s Cliff of Moher, Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, and the American Midwest. And yet each piece is its own crucible of transformation where the narrator thinks through language and place to make meaning from changing relationships: miscarriage, birth, death, union, divorce.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press