Friday, May 11, 2012

Home on the Range

I'm taking vacation next week so that means you're not going to get one PEEP outta me next week. What should you do while you wait with baited breath for tales from the UBC? How about reading some of these books that evoke for me, a native Idahoan, the land of her birth to which she shall travel. Talking about myself in third person is weird.

The most recent book I read set in Idaho was Dennis Johnson's Train Dreams. A tiny little novella epic in scope, it is set in the untamed and the remote wilderness of northern Idaho as the railroads are built toward the coasts. It kinda made me a little homesick. I even craved huckleberries (they grow rampant throughout Idaho) though I never had a taste for them when I lived there.

Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose are both set in Idaho. Anthony Doerr spent some time there and there are a couple of short stories in The Shell Collector set in Boise, my hometown, that are really well done. Ezra Pound was born in Hailey and Hemingway went there to hunt and then die. We are a hardscrabble folk with a humble literary history, or something, but one book we acquired in the UBC last week really reminded me of home:

But what will I actually read on the plane? Dune by Frank Herbert. He was from Tacoma, and I'm also visiting my adopted hometown of Seattle. And Idaho is famous for its Bruneau Sand Dunes, so it totally makes sense. I'll have 20+ hours on a plane and my water bottle on me at all times just as I had an ice cream sammich on me at all times reading The Hunger Games.

So I'll catch you soon, Boise. I shall eat Flying Pie pizza and Idaho Spud candy and see my toddler niece who was a tiny newborn raisin when last I saw her but now walks, talks, and brushes her own long, glorious golden locks. And Brookline, take it easy on Carl next week while he flies solo. Bring him lotsa Coca-Colas and steak burritos.

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