Hannah Coulter

Hannah Coulter

A Novel

Book - 2004
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Baker & Taylor
The author's celebration of life in a Kentucky town continues with his latest installment--the stories of Port William matriarch Hannah Coulter, an eighty-year-old woman who has been widowed twice and has watched the town's sense of community gradually deteriorate.

Perseus Publishing
Hannah Coulter is Wendell Berry's seventh novel in the Port William series of novels and his first with a woman as the main character. Now in her eighties and living alone, Hannah as her way of giving thanks looks back at her life. Her journey through time leads us to a new understanding of her family, neighbors and friends those who have stood by her for decades. Through them all she comes to see herself as part of a great continuum of love and memory, grief and devotion. Wendell Berry has has written a novel of great depth and strength that will remind you that he is one of America's finest novelists.

"Ignorant boys, killing each other,” is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife about the Battle of Okinawa in November 1945. Life continued as some boys returned from the war while the lives of others were mourned. Nathan’s wife, Hannah, has time now to tell of the years since the war. In her eighties, twice widowed and alone, Hannah shares her memories: of her childhood, of young love and loss, of raising children and the changing seasons. She turns her plain gaze to a community facing its own deterioration, where, she says, “We feel the old fabric torn, pulling apart, and we know how much we have loved each other.” Hannah offers her summation: her stories and her gratitude for membership in Port William. We see her whole life as part of the great continuum of love and memory, grief and strength. Hannah Coulter is the latest installment in Wendell Berry’s long story about the citizens of Port William, Kentucky. In his unforgettable prose, we learn of the Coulters’ children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors “live right on.”

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Shoemaker & Hoard, c2004
ISBN: 9781593760366
Branch Call Number: FICTION BERRY
Characteristics: 190 p. : maps ; 24 cm


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Aug 14, 2016

Hannah slowly seeped into my heart - seemingly simple; enormously moving. a time, a pace that won't return.

JCLEmilyW Apr 23, 2013

Quiet, deep, and lyrical, this book is worth reading and rereading. Author Wendell Berry has captured the atmosphere and rhythms of farming life from the perspective of Hannah Coulter, a woman whose life has been shaped by the Great Depression, World War II, and the national decline of the small family farm. Over the course of this short novel, Hannah perceptively and compassionately reflects on her long life and the people she has known, encompassing personal tragedies and joy in graceful, poetic prose.

Apr 08, 2012

Very alive.


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