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Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place Daniel Coleman.

Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place

Daniel Coleman

c/o Independent Publishers Group

814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.

9781928088288, $20.00, PB, 272pp,

Synopsis: When Daniel Coleman came to Hamilton to take a position at McMaster University, he began to ask himself these such questions as: How can you truly belong to a place? What does being at home mean in a society that has always celebrated the search for greener pastures? And can a newcomer ever acquire the deep understanding of the land that comes from being part of a culture that has lived there for centuries?

In "Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place" he presents the answers to those questions in the form of an exploration of his garden--which Coleman deftly situates in the complicated history of Cootes Paradise, off of Hamilton Harbour. Coleman paid close attention to his small plot of land sheltered by the Niagara Escarpment and deftly chronicles such events and issues as an enchanting omnivorous deer, the secret life of water, and the ongoing tension between human needs and the environment.

These, along with his careful attention to the perspectives and history of the Six Nations, create a beguiling portrait of a beloved space.

Critique: Having a special appeal to gardeners, naturalists, and environmentalists, "Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place" is impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking. An inherently engaging and informative read from beginning to end, "Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place" will prove to be a welcome addition to personal reading lists, as well as a popular and appreciated acquisition for community and academic library collections.

Michael J. Carson


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Author:Carson, Michael J.
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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