Small Acreages: New and Collected Essays (Paperback)
Longlisted for the 2023 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
"Insightful, clever, and amusing ruminations on the joys of home and family." -Kirkus Reviews
"A durable love that celebrates resilience fuels Small Acreages, in essays that range from satire to self-reflection, humor to history. Stamper's clear, graceful style and passion for place bring Wendell Berry's work to mind. But Stamper fills a space that Berry cannot: she writes a woman's experience of family, community and landscape, as housewife, historian, teacher, daughter, thinker, and mother. The essays in Small Acreages shed light on who we are-all of us-and how we might proceed from here."-Leatha Kendrick, author of And Luckier.
Small Acreages completes a trilogy of connected essays told in Georgia Green Stamper's unique Kentucky voice. In Small Acreages, readers are returned to Stamper's Eagle Creek world and its colorful characters, but her voice has both deepened with time and widened to include her journey beyond Natlee. Many of the essays in this new collection are reflective or as Stamper phrases it, she hopes "to add a handful of words to the ongoing conversation about what it means to be human." Her wry humor endures, however, popping into even the most poignant of pieces, grounding her, cutting through the absurd as her daddy taught her to do, reminding her as her mother did that "you might as well laugh."
Small Acreages introduces new essays to her readers and collects some of Stamper's most requested and popular essays from her earlier books. Returning readers will not be disappointed as they reconnect with Stamper's unique world. New readers will delight in discovering this authentic Kentucky voice. Both will find her voice true as she weaves effortlessly between the lyrical to the vernacular, from sublime topics to the mundane. With wisdom and humor and compassion, Stamper reminds all readers that if we strive to unite with the universe, we must pay attention to the "small acreages that have been entrusted to us" for safekeeping.
Cover art: Jana Kappeler
About the Author
GEORGIA GREEN STAMPER, a seventh-generation Kentuckian, grew up in North Central Kentucky on an Owen County tobacco farm that has belonged to one member or another of her family for almost two centuries. The oral tradition of storytelling that thrived not only in her home but also throughout the rural Kentucky culture of her childhood lives on in Stamper's writing. She is the author of three creative non-fiction books. You Can Go Anywhere (Wind 2008) and Butter in the Morning (Wind 2012) were both jury selected in their respective years of publication for inclusion in the reading series "New Books by Great Kentucky Writers" at Lexington's Carnegie Center. Small Acreages is her third collection of essays. Stamper's essays have appeared in multiple anthologies, and she contributes work regularly to Kentucky Humanities and other periodicals and newspapers. Ever a teacher, ever a storyteller, Stamper speaks frequently to audiences throughout the region. She is a graduate of Transylvania University and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
“I’ve come to believe that love, like light, keeps moving through time and space long after it leaves its point of origin,” Georgia Stamper proclaims at the start of Small Acreages. A durable love that celebrates resilience fuels this book, in essays that range from satire to self-reflection, humor to history. Stamper’s clear, graceful style and passion for place bring Wendell Berry’s work to mind. But Stamper fills a space that Berry cannot: she writes a woman’s experience of family, community and landscape, as housewife, historian, teacher, daughter, thinker, and mother. Her writing, rooted in her native Owen County, Kentucky, performs the essayist’s task of locating where and how the personal intersects the communal. Keeper of others’ stories and teller of her own, Georgia Stamper does not so much memorialize as transmit the culture of her 'small stretch of road.' Armored with a love that marvels at how we have survived, the essays in Small Acreages shed light on who we are— all of us—and how we might proceed from here.— Leatha Kendrick, poet, memoirist, essayist, and author of And Luckier
Praise for You Can Go Anywhere and Butter in the Morning
“Georgia Green Stamper’s essays do that most important thing that only the most accomplished writers are sometimes lucky to do: capture and preserve a place, a time, and its people. Stamper’s eye is sharp, and her pen is doubly so. Here is a book brimming with poetry and wisdom.” —Silas House, author of Southern Most
Praise for Georgia Stamper and Her Writing
“Humorous, perceptive, and poignant, Georgia Green Stamper’s essays are perfectly crafted gems…—Gwyn Hyman Rubio, author of Icy Sparks.