Cover image for Five shades of shadow
Five shades of shadow
Daugherty, Tracy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xi, 286 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3554.A85 Z464 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



When work took Tracy Daugherty from his family's roots in Oklahoma to the unfamiliar landscape of Oregon, his move mirrored the western migrations of so many earlier Oklahomans devastated and displaced during the Dust Bowl years. Deeply unsettled by the change in his surroundings and shaken by the recent Oklahoma City bombing, Daugherty took the opportunity provided by his own journey to explore the shattering and rebuilding of community in the America of today and yesterday.   Speaking with survivors of the Murrah building bombing, revisiting his roots, and retracing the paths of exile and migration in the American West, Daugherty creates a diverse and heartfelt portrait of America in an uncertain time--its people, its politics, its music, and its poetry--a sobering but ultimately hopeful view of the national community. At heart an exploration, from an intimate vantage point, of the consequences of violence in contemporary America, Five Shades of Shadow will hold special resonance for readers struggling to come to terms with trauma and loss.

Author Notes

Tracy Daugherty is is a professor of English and director of the program in creative writing at Oregon State University and is a faculty member of the program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this collection of 25 literary essays, a third of which have previously been published in such journals as River Teeth and the Georgia Review, fiction writer Daugherty (English, Oregon State Coll.; What Falls Away) juxtaposes his personal and family history against the backdrop of the events surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing to reveal the grief of the survivors as well as the community. Daugherty, who has family roots in Oklahoma, also explores the feelings of those who may not have been directly affected by the bombing but can nonetheless empathize. He refers repeatedly to his favorite novel, The Grapes of Wrath, to show the perseverance of people under emotional stress. To support his arguments, he often turns to history and literature and even discusses matters of a more intimate nature, such as his divorce and his heart surgery. The most powerful of these heartfelt essays, "Riley," an account of Daugherty's friendship with a college janitor and Vietnam veteran who had noticed Daugherty's collection of Vietnam novels, beautifully illustrates how literature can change a person's life. For all regional libraries. [This collection won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize in 2002.-Ed.]-Joyce Sparrow, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas Cty., Pinellas Park, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologue: Lightp. 1
I. Hard Ground
Ooby Doobyp. 9
Oratoryp. 15
Nothingp. 20
Okies on Marsp. 23
Supermanp. 28
High Skiesp. 38
Exiled in Lentsp. 50
The Novel's Sightp. 62
Rileyp. 68
II. Cleared Ground
Hostile Territoryp. 83
Restitutionp. 92
After Murrahp. 99
Cousinsp. 138
Crossed Overp. 152
Irreconciledp. 156
The Pastures of Plentyp. 166
III. Grounds for Survival
Amarillop. 177
The Mother Roadp. 183
Weedpatchp. 200
Bakersfieldp. 212
Health Seekersp. 227
Don't Come Backp. 231
Yemenp. 232
The Day of the Deadp. 241
Invictusp. 250
Epilogue: Heartlandp. 260
Notesp. 273
Selected Bibliographyp. 283