“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