Item description for Hannah Coulter: A Novel (Port William) by Wendell Berry & Susan Denaker...
Overview "Ignorant boys, killing each other," is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife, friends, and family about the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. Life carried on for the community of Port William, Kentucky, as some boys returned from the war and the lives of others were mourned. In her seventies, Nathan's wife, Hannah, has time now to tell of the years since the war. In Wendell Berry's unforgettable prose, we learn of the Coulter's children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors "live right on."
Publishers Description In the latest installment in Wendell Berry's long story about the citizens of Port William, Kentucky, readers learn of the Coulters' children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors "live right on." "Ignorant boys, killing each other," is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife about the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. Life carried on for the community of Port William, Kentucky, as some boys returned from the war while the lives of others were mourned. In her seventies, Nathan's wife, Hannah, now has time to tell of the years since the war.
From Publishers Weekly Susan Denaker brings twice-widowed farm wife Hannah to life with soft-spoken but resolute dignity. As the 20th century closes and a new millennium begins, the elderlyyet fiercely self-sufficientHannah reflects on her past, especially the crucial threads of family, community and the soil. Denaker does an especially effective job of portraying the other figures in the Port William Membership in a manner that fits the approach of the first-person narrative. She adjusts the octave and tone of the male and female characters of varying ages just enough to set them apart from each another, but listeners can be certain that Hannah maintains full control of her own storytelling. The experience evokes a sublime visit to a beloved grandmother figure with memories and wisdom to impart. A Shoemaker & Hoard paperback (Reviews, Oct. 4, 2004). (June)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions Hannah Coulter: A Novel (Port William) by Wendell Berry & Susan Denaker has received the following awards and recognitions -
Listen Up - 2008 Editor's Choice - Fiction category
Citations And Professional Reviews Hannah Coulter: A Novel (Port William) by Wendell Berry & Susan Denaker has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 07/28/2008 page 67
Library Journal - 11/15/2008 page 38
Audio File - 12/01/2008 page 41
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Studio: christianaudio Fiction
Running Time: 490.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.45" Width: 6.44" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.36 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2008
Publisher Hovel Audio
Series Port William
ISBN 1596445335 ISBN13 9781596445338
Availability 0 units.
More About Wendell Berry & Susan Denaker
WENDELL BERRY was born in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1934. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1956 and continued on to complete a master’s degree in 1957. In 1958, he received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.
Berry has taught at Stanford University, Georgetown College, New York University, the University of Cincinnati, and Bucknell University. He taught at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky from 1964-77, and again from 1987-93.
The author of more than 40 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Wendell Berry has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1962), the Vachel Lindsay Prize from Poetry (1962), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1965), a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing (1971), the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly Review (1974), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award (1987), a Lannan Foundation Award for Non-Fiction (1989), Membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers (1991), the Ingersoll Foundation's T. S. Eliot Award (1994), the John Hay Award (1997), the Lyndhurst Prize (1997), and the Aitken-Taylor Award for Poetry from The Sewanee Review (1998). His books include the novel Hannah Coulter (2004), the essay collections Citizenship Papers (2005) and The Way of Ignorance (2006), and Given: Poems (2005), all available from Counterpoint. Berry's latest works include The Mad Farmer Poems (2008) and Whitefoot (2009), which features illustrations by Davis Te Selle.
He lives and works with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal, Kentucky.
Wendell Berry currently resides in the state of Kentucky. Wendell Berry was born in 1934.
Reviews - What do customers think about Hannah Coulter: A Novel?
Hauntly Beautiful Oct 19, 2008
As others have said, one ought not read Wendell Berry's Port William novels expecting fast paced action. They are ploddingly beautiful books about community and ordinary life, and the graces you find therein. Berry's writing is always a treat to read, graceful and filled with life, and Hannah Coulter is no exception. I have only read novels he has written from a male's perspective and I was literally awed by how well he wrote this female protagonist. I can't give it any higher praise than to say that I wept when I finished, for Hannah and for myself, because it was over.
My favorite quote (very representative): "I took her into bed with me and propped myself up with pillows against the headboard to let her nurse. As she nursed and the milk came, she began a little low contented sort of singing. I would feel milk and love flowing from me to her as once it had flowed to me. It emptied me. As the baby fed, I seemed slowly to grow empty of myself, as if in the presence of that long flow of love even grief could not stand."
Hannah Coulter May 20, 2008
Of the eleven novels by Wendell Berry in the Port William saga, Hannah Coulter is probably the best. It is a complete life told with great sensitivity of a poor girl and an outsider to the families written about in the other novels of the saga. Hannah has great determination and ability to overcome her limitations with the help of her grandmother and the Feltner, Coulter and Catlett families. The story covers the period from 1922 until the turn of the century. It is an epic tale.
Pleasant and heartwarming, but somewhat frustrating Apr 15, 2008
ok.. I read this a year ago and loved it! It is elegantly written and soulful and kind. BUT after reading Wallace Stegner's 'Crossing to Safety'..and re-reading a chapter of 'Hannah Coulter', I'm afraid this book falls downward into a whole other category of writing. In my mind, 'Hannah Coulter' lacks humor..detail.. and the complexities of marriage. While Berry doesn't sugarcoat or gloss over his characters, he doesn't go into as much depth as I'd like, leaving me wondering and frustrated as to what's really going on inside Hannah, Nathan, and all the other folks of Port William. There just must be a whole lot more than 'everything's fine' in bucolic Port William..
The beauty of Stegner's book is that he manages to write 300 some odd pages on 'very quiet lives' and I truly hated for the book to end. With 'Hannah', I was left wanting more, not at just the end, but throughout the entire read.
Haannah Coulter Jan 18, 2008
This is one of the best books I have read - a wonderful book of community and belonging
Another Port William Novel Warmed by Berry's Prose Nov 20, 2007
In his Port William novels, Wendell Berry has built a community of nostalgia and gentleness that provides an opportunity to redirect our attention, for at least a time, from the day's most discouraging headlines. Enough of modern society trickles into the edges of Hannah Coulter's story, however, that we are reminded she may very well be our own contemporary.
This is the story of a woman widowed twice, who has never had extreme wealth but who seems to have learned contentedness in most situations and to be quietly resigned to the rest. Is she an idealized and not fully real character? Probably, but that could also be said of some of the many angst-drenched lead characters in other contemporary fiction, and I admit I find someone like this far more interesting.
The difference in her world from that of so many of the rest of us is summed up by another Port William resident's summary of what has happened to her children who have moved on to Ohio, California, and beyond.
"Andy said, 'You're worried because they've left the membership,' and he smiled...They've gone over from the world of membership to the world of organization. Nathan would say the world of employment.'...One of the attractions of moving away into the world of employment, i think, is being disconnected and free, unbothered by membership.It is a life of beginnings without memories, but it is a life too that ends without being remembered. The life of membership with all its cumbers is traded away for the life of employment that makes itself free by forgetting you clean as a whistle when you are not of any more use. When they get to retirement age, [my children] will be cast out of place and out of mind like worn-out replaceable parts, to be alone at the last maybe and soon forgotten.
"'But the membership,' Andy said, 'keeps the memories even of horses and mules and milk cows and dogs.'"
And that is the magic of Berry's writing; his telling of stories of those who are still *members* of a community helps keep their memories alive and reminds us of our own need to find our own community within our own spaces.