Synopses & Reviews
“Richard Horan has brought us a welcome view of America to defy the prevailing political and financial nastiness. This is a timely and important book.”
—Ted Morgan, author of Wilderness at Dawn
“A lively visit with the dauntless men and women who operate Americas family farms and help provide our miraculous annual bounty. Richard Horan writes with energy and passion.”
—Hannah Nordhaus, author of The Beekeepers Lament
“Horans new book evocatively describes the peril and promise of family farms in America. I loved joining him on this journey, and so will you.”
—T.A. Barron, author of The Great Tree of Avalon
In Seeds, novelist and nature writer Richard Horan sought out the trees that inspired the work of great American writers like Faulkner, Kerouac, Welty, Wharton, and Harper Lee. In Harvest, Horan embarks upon a serendipitous journey across America to work the harvests of more than a dozen essential or unusual food crops—and, in the process, forms powerful connections with the farmers, the soil, and the seasons.
"Horan (Seeds) offers an engaging, albeit didactic look at agriculture in America through the microcosm of harvest season at several small family farms. While his eye for the bucolic frequently recalls a nostalgic past and disdains the present, Horan un-self-consciously peppers his sharp observations with jarring platitudes that remove the reader from the task at hand. His paternalistic liberalism paints immigrant field workers as 'ignorant, poor, yet so ripe with hope and determination and humility' and blinds him to the dangerous similarity between his plan for prisoner rehabilitation and this country's agricultural, slave-holding past. This same lack of self-awareness crescendos in the harvest of wild rice, when Horan goes so far as to tell the tale in a Disneyesque caricature of native storytelling a confusing choice. Poor narrative strategies undermine Horan's otherwise excellent observations of the vigor of farm work and the characters he meets as he journeys from farm to farm, learning what is left of America's small agricultural enterprises and the difficulties they face. The harvest of wheat, green beans, blueberries, tomatoes, red raspberries, wild rice, cranberries, potatoes, and walnuts will carry the reader into daydreams of hearty, satisfying work, even as the guide sometimes proves problematic. Agent: Helen Zimmerman, Helen Zimmerman Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Get ready to feel black earth on your fingers, to meet strong and independent people, and to know real gratitude for healthy fruits and vegetables. Richard Horan evocatively describes the peril and promise of family farms in America. I loved joining him on this journey, and so will you.” < b=""> T.A. Barron, author of < i=""> The Great Tree of Avalon <> <>
“A lively visit with the dauntless men and women who operate Americas family farms and help provide our miraculous annual bounty. Richard Horan writes with energy and passion.” < b=""> Hannah Nordhaus, author of < i=""> The Beekeeper's Lament <> <>
“By joining agricultural workers to bring in the crops in half a dozen states, Richard Horan has brought us a welcome view of America to defy the prevailing political and financial nastiness. This is a timely and important book.” < b=""> Ted Morgan, author of < i=""> Wilderness at Dawn <> <>
“Horan loves a road trip, he loves talk with strangers, he loves people who take their work seriously, he loves working with his hands, he loves rural landscape, and he loves food…[I]ts all there in Harvest, reported with high spirits by a writer of uncommmon vigor.” < b=""> Thomas Powers, author of < i=""> The Killing of Crazy Horse <> <>
Novelist and nature writer Richard Horan embarked on an adventure across America to reveal that farming is still the vibrant beating heart of our nation. Horan went from coast to coast, visiting organic family farms and working the harvests of more than a dozen essential or unusual food crops—from Kansas wheat and Michigan wild rice to Maine potatoes, California walnuts, and Cape Cod cranberries—in search of connections with the farmers, the soil, the seasons, and the lifeblood of America.
Sparkling with lively prose and a winning blend of profound seriousness and delightful humor, Harvest carries the reader on an eyeopening and transformational journey across the length and breadth of this remarkable land, offering a powerful national portrait of challenge and diligence, and an inspiring message of hope.
About the Author
Richard Horan is a novelist, English teacher, and book reviewer for several national publications. His novel Goose Music was a finalist for the Great Lakes Fiction Award and won the ForeWord Book of the Year Bronze Medal. He is also the author of Seeds: One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty to Wharton. He lives in Oswego, New York.