Books & Essays
A Natural Sense of Wonder: Connecting Kids with Nature Through the Seasons
University of Georgia Press 2008
Surveying the Interior: Literary Cartographers and the Sense of Place
University of Nevada Press 2003
From a cartographer who wrote to a writer who mapped, the literary significance of surveying is revealed in this study of human relationships to the landscape.
From the very beginning, American literature was closely intertwined with surveying. In Surveying the Interior, Rick Van Noy explores the ways that four American literary cartographers?Henry David Thoreau, Clarence King, John Wesley Powell, and Wallace Stegner?concerned themselves with what it means to map or survey a place and what it means to write about it. In the process, he helps define the ways by which space enters the human psyche as definable place, as well as the ways by which physical landscape is transmuted into a sense of place as an intimate, personal manifestation of both physical and existential realities.
Book Review #1:
?Rick Van Noy connects literature and cartography in ways that illuminate both the history of environmental writing in America and the particular authors on whom he focuses. This perceptive study is especially welcome at a time when G.I.S. becomes more central to environmental studies and when Native American authors like Leslie Silko ask us to view certain ?stories? as ?maps? in their own right.? ?John Elder, author of Reading the Mountains of Home and The Frog Run
Book Review #2:
?Surveying the Interior takes on an extremely important topic?how people come to see landscapes as places, how they become attached to places and feel part of them. Rick Van Noy sheds new light onto ideas about both mapping and writing about places.? ?Karla Armbruster, coeditor of Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism
Book Review #3:
"Maps and narratives may seem like inimical modes of communication; indeed, Van Noy's subjects needed both in order to arrive at a satisfying assessment of landscape. In bringing these modes together, Van Noy both helps us deepen our sense of what constitutes a western writer and demonstrates just how firmly the West has resisted?and continues to resist?definitive understanding." ?Kent C. Ryden, Western American LIterature, Fall 2006
Double Take Magazine