Tuesday, June 10, 2008

E published in The Believer (sort of)!!!

What a lovely surprise to open up The Believer this evening and see none other than my husband in the Letters to the Editor! A woman living in our neighborhood (whom we know) also had a letter published regarding the same article.

E wrote in regards to Eula Biss' "No-Man's-Land," a piece relating Little House on the Prairie and the pioneer concept to quickly gentrifying neighborhoods. Both E and I were quite moved by the piece, as we relate to issues we see in our own neighborhood. I certainly gave the piece a few careful reads. E even wrote a personal e-mail to the author, and they had a very thoughtful exchange. She invited us for coffee if we're ever in Chicago (hmm... maybe that Amtrak trip I've been planning?).

Here's what he wrote:
"It was a delight to read such profound honesty found in "No-Man's-Land." When parsing a piece of classic literature, in this case the pioneer tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder, contemporary readers are in danger of making connections and observations simply for ironic amusement. Yet Biss skillfully used the frontier stories to unmask questions from her daily life. This allows the reader close access to the tensions she experiences as an outsider to her Chicago neighborhood. We should be so bold to follow her example, probing stated and unstated motivations for where we live. What is valued most? Safety, proximity to parks, public transportation, home size? In offering her experiences, Biss lets us consider the pioneer attitude of folks who move into "bad areas" and those who make room for the newcomers. Gentrification may be a four-letter word, but is is a cultural process that has and will continue to shape the American urban landscape."

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