Jeanne Nolan | Book Cellar | Literary Events | Chicago Reader
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Jeanne Nolan 

When: Fri., July 26 2013
Jeanne Nolan's new book, From the Ground Up, is a rare and improbable thing: a gripping gardening memoir. That's not because of the author worrying whether her seeds will sprout, or if her crops will be damaged by a grasshopper plague—her seeds always sprout, and her domain isn't the harsh plains of Little House on the Prairie but rather the backyards and vacant lots of Chicago and its suburbs, where, if nothing grows, there's always Whole Foods. No, what's gripping about Ground Up is Nolan herself. Her sophomore year at New Trier High School, in the 1980s, Nolan met a boy named Mark, who introduced her to Thoreau, Hesse, and sex on golf courses. She'd been a preppy straight-A student; now she and Mark vowed to reject their materialist roots and live close to nature. They made a plan to run off to the southwest. In a Flagstaff, Arizona, grocery store, Nolan first heard the term "organic." Continue reading >>

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