Cover image for Borderland : a Midwest journal
Borderland : a Midwest journal
Quinney, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 191 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CT275.Q554 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Watch closely , Richard Quinney reminds himself, participate, experience the mystery .  And watching, we experience with him the wonders of the borderland between a remembered past and an ever-unfolding present, the extraordinary mysteries of ordinary life in a world comfortably situated in the middle of a vast, unknowable universe.
To be a midwesterner is, for Quinney, to belong to a place, to a time, to a community, all of which he evokes in this physical, mental, and spiritual geography. In photographs handed down over the years and in those he has taken over a half-century, in reflections and anecdotes, forays into history and judicious quotations and observations from figures as varied as T. S. Eliot, Roland Barthes, and Bob Dylan, Quinney recreates the landscape of his life. Here, he conjures the reality of his Midwest--the land where his great-grandparents, fleeing famine in Ireland, settled to farm, and where in days past the Potawatomi hunted and fished; and the land where now, in later age, Quinney's explorations intensify as he looks for--and finds--"a lifetime burning in every moment."
Equal parts memoir, geography, photo journal, and natural history, Borderland is a deeply felt exploration of what it means to be at home in a particular landscape. A nuanced literary evocation of place in the tradition of Aldo Leopold and Wallace Stegner, it leaves us with the gift Quinney promises himself: Once again the wonder.

Author Notes

Richard Quinney, professor emeritus of sociology at Northern Illinois University

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The "borderland" of the title refers to the middle border of our country, the Midwest. Writing in the form of a written and photographic journal, Quinney (sociology, emeritus, Northern Illinois Univ.; For the Time Being) introduces us to the place where he grew up and to which he has always been drawn. This philosophical journal chronicles his grandparents' lives, his childhood, his years as a sociology professor, the time he spent in other parts of the country, and what he has done since his retirement. Intelligent and well read, Quinney provides interesting quotations from diverse sources. But while his writing may lead readers to ponder the meaning of place, it fails to grab our attention. This reviewer was simply unable to feel the author's emotions for his home. The photographs are evocative of the landscape but are only a small part of the book. Recommended only for larger library collections that focus on the Midwest. Kathleen Shanahan, Kensington, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Photographsp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Evening Under Lamplightp. 1
The Gathering of Fragmentsp. 49
A Borderland Almanacp. 99
Bibliographyp. 185