Longing for Nature in American Literature
Jennifer K. Ladino
Often thought of as the quintessential home or the Eden from which humanity has fallen, the natural world has long been a popular object of nostalgic narratives. In Reclaiming Nostalgia, Jennifer Ladino assesses the ideological effects of this phenomenon by tracing its dominant forms in American literature and culture since the closing of the frontier in 1890. While referencing nostalgia for pastoral communities and for untamed and often violent frontiers, she also highlights the ways in which nostalgia for nature has served as a mechanism for social change, a model for ethical relationships, and a motivating force for social and environmental justice.
Reclaiming Nostalgia is sophisticated and intelligent. Jennifer Ladino has achieved a graceful, athletic style that enables her to handle complex ideas with clarity, economy, and grace.
Jennifer K. Ladino is Associate Professor of English at the University of Idaho.