Going Driftless

Life Lessons from the Heartland for Unraveling Times

Book Description

Something truly fascinating is afoot in a region of the Upper Midwest commonly known as the Driftless that runs counter to many of the trends in the rest of the nation and just might be blueprint for the future of a downsized United States. Covering parts of four states—Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota—that share a shoreline with the Mississippi River, the Driftless area was spared the glacial activity that leveled the rest of the Midwest landscape. What is left is a common culture of tucked away hills and valleys, where small-scale farming, a respect and love of nature, and close-knit community are a way of life.

A seasoned journalist known for his nuanced reporting, Stephen J. Lyons tells the stories of the Driftless through the colorful and unforgettable voices of residents who defy easy characterizations and lazy narratives. Readers will meets seed savers, off-the-gridders, birders, farmers, musicians, artists, and writers, all who share a common bond in a separate nation called the Driftless.

About Lyons, Stephen J.

Stephen J. Lyons is the author of A View from the Inland Northwest: Everyday Life in America (Globe Pequot) and Landscape of the Heart (Washington State University). He is two-time recipient of a fellowship in prose writing from the Illinois Arts Council and has published articles, reviews, essays, and poems in numerous anthologies and publications, including Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Salon, and High Country News. He lives in Monticello, Illinois.