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In the Merrimack Valley- Available October 2024

In the Merrimack Valley- Available October 2024

A Farm Trilogy

by Jane Brox
Introduction by Suzanne Berne

Regular price $19.95 USD
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Product Details

Nonpareil Books

ISBN: 978-1-56792-818-1
Pages: 584
Size: 5.25" x 7.5"
Published: October 2024
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A journey through both family history and the fascinating and quintessentially American history of New England’s Merrimack Valley, its farmers, and the immigrant workers caught up in the industrial textile age.

After years of living away, Jane Brox made the decision to return to the family farm of her birth, where her aging father still tended the crops. Brox twines two narratives, personal and historic, as she captures the cadences of farm life and those who sustain it, at a time when the viability of both are waning. Amid the turmoil after her father’s death, Brox begins a search for her family’s story. As Brox explores, she also reflects on the place of the family farm as it evolved from the Pilgrims’ brutal progress at Plymouth to the modern world, where much of our food is produced by industrial agriculture while the family farm is both marginalized and romanticized.

In the Merrimack Valley brings together for the first time in one volume Brox’s timeless trilogy: Here and Nowhere Else (winner of the L.L. Winship/PEN/New England Award); Five Thousand Days Like This One (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); and Clearing Land (named a Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

In considering the place of the family farm today, Brox traces the transformation of the idea of wilderness—and its intricate connection to cultivation—which changed as our ties to the land loosened. Exploring these strands, Brox arrives at something beyond a biography of a farm: a vivid depiction of the half-life it carries in our collective imagination.

This Nonpareil edition includes a new introduction by Suzanne Berne, and new afterword by the author.

Praise for books in the Merrimack Valley trilogy

“Arresting. With a poet’s sensibility and an essayist’s search for meaning, Brox gives us keen and sensuous observations of the land…with compassion, honesty, and restraint.”
The Boston Globe

“A poignant account of return and recommitment…Brox describes crisply yet with great feeling.”
New York Times Book Review

“Tenderly and specifically, generously and with a refreshing breadth of knowledge...recreates the past lyrically and resonantly. Memory is love and cherishing, of course, but also, it is a weighing and giving.”
Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize winner

“A loving, precisely written evocation of a New England place and its people…reminiscent of Thoreau in its exactness and breadth of implications.”
from the judges’ citation for the L.L. Winship/PEN/New England Award

“Brox’s double charged language turns family drama into something bigger [in writing] so arresting that even the most urban reader feels the author’s sense-memory as his own.”
Chicago Tribune

“This masterful collage of memoir and history both explodes and reorders the mythos of the American family farm.”
Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn

“A clear-eyed and beautifully written celebration of a place where family, community, history and nature all still matter deeply. It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything that’s caught and held my attention and admiration quite the way this wonderful memoir of life in the Merrimack Valley has.”
Howard Frank Mosher, author of God’s Kingdom

Praise for Jane Brox’s Work

“Brox writes beautifully…”
New York Times Book Review (front page review)

“A wonderfully evocative writer…”
Wall Street Journal

Author: Jane Brox

Jane Brox is the author of five books. In the Merrimack Valley: A Farm Trilogy is a reissue of her first three books about her family’s farm: Here and Nowhere Else, Five Thousand Days Like This One, and Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm. She lives in Brunswick, Maine.

Author: Suzanne Berne

Suzanne Berne is the author of five novels: The Blue Window, The Dogs of Littlefield, The Ghost at the Table, A Perfect Arrangement, and A Crime in the Neighborhood, which won Great Britain’s Orange Prize, now The Women’s Prize. She lives outside of Boston.