The Trees

(Fiction; 1940; repr., Ohio University Press, 1991)

I first learned about Conrad Richter’s The Trees from The Writer’s Almanac and ordered it from, paying $1 for the novel and $3 for shipping. A week later, the book arrived, wrapped in an inverted Coke carton and reeking of cigarette smoke. I had to spray it with cologne and prop it open on the patio before I could bring it in and read it, but read it I did, and in something of a fever, as Richter transported me to an era where characters slept on pallets of maple leaves and ate venison steaks blackened over an indoor fire.

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