In this excellent book, Lauret Savoy sets out to explore and better understand the history and landscapes that shaped her parents, and in the process, uncovers many hidden and painful truths about the histories and legacies of these places that have so often been minimized, ignored, or completely silenced As she delves into the natural and cultural history of places like the Potomac River in D.
, Fort Huachuca in Arizona, Walnut Grove plantation in South Carolina, and the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Savoy braids history with personal memory and story in an incredibly captivating way Along the journey with her, we understand the word Trace in a number of ways we think of it as literally following the roots of family history and legacy, but we also begin to see it, as she clearly does as well, in terms of a faint line that has been deliberately erased, but is still Somehow this wasn t already on my TBR, despite the fact that I ve been carrying it around in my purse where next to read physical books live for at least a month And Stone Are Earth S Fragmented Memory Each Of Us, Too, Is A Landscape Inscribed By Memory And Loss One Life Defining Lesson Lauret Savoy Learned As A Young Girl Was This The American Land Did Not Hate As An Educator And Earth Historian, She Has Tracked The Continent S Past From The Relics Of Deep Time But The Paths Of Ancestors Toward Her Paths Of Free And Enslaved Africans, Colonists From Europe, And Trailer ↠´ Trace PDF by í Lauret Savoy Peoples Indigenous To This Land Lie Largely Eroded And LostIn This Provocative And Powerful Mosaic Of Personal Journeys And Historical Inquiry Across A Continent And Time, Savoy Explores How The Country S Still Unfolding History, And Ideas Of Race, Have Marked Her And The Land From Twisted Terrain Within The San Andreas Fault Zone To A South Carolina Plantation, From National Parks To Burial Grounds, From Indian Territory And The US Mexico Border To The US Capital, Trace Grapples With A Searing National History To Reveal The Often Unvoiced Presence Of The PastIn Distinctive And Illuminating Prose That Is Attentive To The Rhythms Of Language And Landscapes, She Weaves Together Human Stories Of Migration, Silence, And Displacement, As Epic As The Continent They Survey, With Uplifted Mountains, Braided Streams, And Eroded Canyons These essays frequently hit the same combination of extreme beauty with detailed observation that the best of Loren Eiseley s essays do and Savoy quotes Eiseley in the first essay in the collection Reading these, I felt exalted, and instructed, and often than not a little weepy too as with Eiseley, there is an underlying sadness and the tone of an elegy in many of these essays They leave me with a feeling not unlike being sad to see your child grow up however happy you are about the way they ve turned out.
The excellent writing would be reason enough to pick up this collection and read it, but also, read it for the subjects it covers, for the unique way Savoy blends observations about memory, history, race, and the American landscape Savoy draws on many disciplines, as well as from her own experiences, to reveal new ways of looking at the world.
Kinda like Loren Eiseley if he weren t an old white dude I wish scientists wrote beautiful personal stuff like this This book will be placed alongside Michel Rolph Trouillot s Silencing the Past in the mental bookshelf on which I keep my favorite meta history books Goodreads has truncated the title, which is actuallyTrace Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Deleting race from the title feels like an attempt to drain the blood from the narrative this is definitely a book about race.
Savoy is a woman of mixed race heritage and a professor of geography and environmental studies, and while the book s structure relies on her parents and ancestors geographic migrations, Trace is much less a book about genealogy finding the historical self and much a book about our very young, very complicated, very self contradicting cou Ø Trace ✓ A very different sort of nature writing Savoy is a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke, and a person of mixed racial heritage In this lyrically written meditation on race, history and geography, Savoy traces her family history across the continent while unearthing forgotten stories about the ways in which encounters between free and enslaved African Americans, indigenous peoples and white settlers shaped the history of the places we call home today So much of mainstream American history seems predicated on willfully forgetting the violent acts of erasure that made this country possible this book is a graceful and strong corrective to that impulse I especially appreciated her chapter, What s in a Name where she describes how most of the place names we associate with native tribes are based on inaccurate an This is a subtle book as befits the title, a gentle correction and amplification of the views of classic American writers about landscape, such as Wallace Stegner and George R Stewart.
Savoy is of mixed heritage She applies her writing skills and academic understanding of how to read the land to places familiar to me including Madeline Island, WI, and southeastern Arizona and references texts also familiar, to show what I have missed And what American histories have missed as well.
No, not missed, so much as obscured, hidden, denied The records of land and the land itself still bear Trace marks of those histories America s slave history shows up in surprising places, not just in the south but in the building of Plymouth colony, New York City as a
To inhabit this country is to be marked by residues of its still unfolding history, a history weighted by tangled ideas of race and of the land itself.
That s really a remarkable sentence appearing near the very end of this book and it goes a long way towards explaining what the book is about.
This a social history, of sorts, written by a multi racial geology professor She traces her history, and in so doing traces the country s history as well Oh, she s done interviews and there s pages in the back full of primary and secondary sources But she also gets in her car and travels to the line which separates Arizona and Mexico, a place where once a massacre occurred and where now a wall might be to a Virginia plantation where some graves are nicely tended and many others are unmarked and fleetingly described by a tour guide as those of reside Be still my heart A scientist geologist who writes like a poet Essays that combine family history with geologic time childhood memories of the Grand Canyon and desert and coasts of California, retracing her father s work while also describing the alluvial plains and glaciation that created the Great Lakes, southern plantations where her ancestors and many thousands of others lived and died in slavery, the Potomac River and surrounding marshlands and the various cultures of Washington, DC Each essay is so rich and full.
While each of the eight essays were extraordinary, I had three that stood out to me one for personal reasons and my own closeness to the subject matter, and the other two because Savoy s research and passion for the subject came through so strongly Madeline Trace is