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After 20 years of living in the "Great American Outback," as Newsweek magazine once designated the Dakotas, poet Kathleen Norris (The Cloister Walk) came to understand the fascinating ways that people become metaphors for the land they inhabit. When trying to understand the polarizing contradictions that exist in the Dakotas between "hospitality and insularity, change and inertia, stability and instability.... between hope and despair, between open hearts and closed minds," Norris draws a map. "We are at the point of transition between east and west in the United States," she explains, "geographically and psychically isolated from either coast, and unlike either the Midwest or the desert west."
Like Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge), Norris understands how the boundary between inner and outer scenery begins to blur when one is fully present in the landscape of their lives. As a result, she offers the geography lesson we all longed for in school. This is a poetic, noble, and often funny (see her discussion on the foreign concept of tofu) tribute to Dakota, including its Native Americans, Benedictine monks, ministers and churchgoers, wind-weathered farmers, and all its plain folks who live such complicated and simple lives. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Nearly 20 years ago, poet Kathleen Norris and her husband moved from New York to the isolated town of Lemmon in northwestern South Dakota, home of her grandparents. Living there radically changed her sense of time and place, forcing her to come to terms with her heritage, her religious beliefs and the land. Norris learned to value the prairie landscape and to cope with the harsh climate. She found small-town life a mass of contradictions: generous hospitality mixed with suspicion of strangers, inertia and a sense of inferiority. One boon to her new life was a community of Benedictine monks; with them she recaptured her (Protestant) Christian faith and discovered inner peace. This is a fine portrait of the High Plains and its people as well as a very personal memoir of a spiritual awakening.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Norris brings the joy of faith, and the struggles of being a person of faith in the present world into context. She is witty and well grounded in her understanding of life.Published 18 months ago by Rev, R. Glenn Ball
I already ownned Kathleen Norris' ACEDIA AND ME, a book I cherish.
DAKOTA, written fifteen years earlier, did not disappoint, but drew me into a physical and spiritual... Read more
I wasn't sure I'd like Dakota because my spirituality leans toward activism rather than asceticism. Kathleen Norris, however, in her elegant, steady way, encourages reflection and... Read morePublished on July 15 2003 by Mary J. Cartledgehayes
When I read this book my expectations were high and remained on that level for the first 20 pages. After that I realized this book is less a realistic description of what life in... Read morePublished on March 31 2003 by Florian Gast
If you wish to find answers to questions you didn't know you had simply read this book. What a wonderful, realistic description of this region, the people and life!
T. Read more
Norris is quite amazing, having overcome the natural fault of looking at the world through her previous pre-conceptions...i.e. Read morePublished on July 23 2002 by Richard R. Carlton
While I thought the author had a nice handle on the English language her over-riding theme seemed to be a comparison of life on the Plains with Benedectine Monks. Read morePublished on May 21 2002 by Ronald Brown
The subtitle here is "a spiritual geography" -- the book is roughly 20 percent northern prairie geography and 80 percent Norris' fascination with asceticism and monasticism. Read morePublished on April 8 2002 by Wesley L. Janssen