Hohn’s careful explorations of the subjects presented to him by his new place also become markers along his own process of the intellectual and personal discovery of his psychological inner coast.
More than a Fish Story: A Review of Great Lakes Sea Lamprey: The 70 Year War on a Biological Invader, by Cory Brant.
Brant has travelled all around the Great Lakes basin, interviewing fishermen and scientists. He clearly honors these people and the work they have done. Their pictures and their stories are scattered throughout the book.
It’s hard not to imagine every review as just a shout into the abyss. It’s why something like “A real stinker!” makes sense: it’s to the point. It says, “I would highly recommend you don’t buy this book.” While Wells’s review of Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar is a work of art and comedy itself, the very nature of critique lends itself to a rant. It’s amusing to plumb the depths of hate. It’s harder to discuss admiration with nuance and fairness. And if discussing it isn’t hard enough, it’s difficult to persuade someone to read a lengthy review written by an anonymous reader on Goodreads.
“When I teach nonfiction, we talk about writing to a question. If you write what you already know, it’s not going to be interesting for your readers. You need to be looking for some kind of a discovery, and so I went to Yale to see what and what hadn’t changed, because my story needed to be contextualized. After hearing from young women that their experiences were just as bad as mine, it floored me. That’s the moment I knew I had a book.”
“I think for me I don’t approach the page with some necessary truth that I’m aware of as I enter a poem. Often my poems start with a story or a fragment that I want to communicate or display for people and embedded in those things is a truth that reveals later.”