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Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  23 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Shortlisted: 2018 RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction

How can you truly belong to a place? What does being at home mean in a society that has always celebrated the search for greener pastures? And can a newcomer ever acquire the deep understanding of the land that comes from being part of a culture that has lived there for centuries?  When Daniel Coleman came to Hami
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 2017 by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd
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Jane Mulkewich
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Daniel Coleman's writing, and particularly enjoyed this book about his backyard in Hamilton - a place that has become home for him after a childhood and young adulthood of migrations until he settled here and has been here for 20 years or so. By contrast, I have lived in this area all of my life, and enjoyed seeing him pull together all kinds of different strands of knowledge about this place into one book. As someone who researches genealogy and local history, I loved his section on the ...more
Alexandra
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This just makes me wish I had gotten into his grad seminar 😩
Dianne Everson
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating inspiring informative book.
It will especially be enjoyed by those familiar with the terrain of Hamilton Ontario, but its message of observing and appreciating your natural surroundings is for all readers.
Several topics are covered, including local history, first nations as first residents, geology, biology, ecology, and others. The chapters act as essays, some you will love, others you learn from, and others you will relate to less, but all are part of a loving philosophy b
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Scott Neigh
A thoughtful meditation on place and relation grounded in a back yard in a neighbourhood I lived in (more or less) for half a decade in the '90s, by a local writer and scholar who settled here as an adult after an early life spent constantly moving. Meanders through memoir to ecology to local history to Haudenosaunee tradition to city politics to hydrology to much more, with richly descriptive yet conversational writing. There are perhaps one or two places where the writing felt like it was tryi ...more
Ben Truong
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ben by: RBC Taylor Prize
Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place is a very interesting and novel book. When I hear the word biography, I think of a person – usually one of note somehow. I never really thought of a place in need of a biographer, and then a second later, I think, why I haven't thought of it before, because it's obvious. A place, an object, practically everything has a story if we look and hear hard enough and willing to give it voice. Coleman has done this for Hamilton, a city in Canada.

However, this is m
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Daniel Coleman teaches in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. His research covers Canadian Literature, cultural production of categories of privilege, literatures of immigration and diaspora, and the politics of reading. His publications include White Civility (2006) and In Bed with the Word (2009) as well as co-edited scholarly volumes.