The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s

  • $35.00

Alexander Nemerov summons essence in these brief narratives depicting "the people, sights, smells, and sounds" of the United States during the early years of the 19th Century. The book accomplishes an almost somnambulist “piecing together of untold parts,” rich with marvelous emblems, episodes, and fables. Beautifully designed and a pleasure to hold, The Forest is one of 2023's most intellectually unshackled books—and one of its best.

Set amid the glimmering lakes and disappearing forests of the early United States, The Forest imagines how a wide variety of Americans experienced their lives. Part truth, part fiction, and featuring both real and invented characters, the book follows painters, poets, enslaved people, farmers, and artisans living and working in a world still made largely of wood. Some of the historical characters—such as Thomas Cole, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fanny Kemble, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nat Turner—are well-known, while others are not. But all are creators of private and grand designs.

2023; hardcover; 6 x 9 inches; 336 pages; ISBN: 9780691244280.