Stone Country

Stone Country

Then and Now
New Edition
Text by Scott Russell Sanders
Photographs by Jeffrey A. Wolin
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/10/2017
ISBN: 978-0-253-02464-0
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Quarrying, cutting, and carving limestone has provided work for thousands of people in Indiana for nearly two centuries. Along highways and backroads, the brawny machinery these workers use to finesse the stone, the humpbacked mills where they shape it, and the rails and roads where they ship it dot the landscape. In this new edition of Stone Country, Scott Russell Sanders and Jeffrey A. Wolin talk with the stone workers, explore the quarries and mills, and trample along creeks and railroad spurs uncovering the history of the industry and the people who built it. These new stories and photographs are a biography, not of a person—although it is filled with many portraits of individuals—but of a place. It is an up-close look at a singular point on the planet where the miracles of geology have yielded a special kind of stone, and where landscape, towns, and the people themselves bear its mark.

Author Bio

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Hunting for Hope, Earth Works (IUP, 2012), Dancing in Dreamtime (IUP, 2016), and Divine Animal. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jeffrey A. Wolin is Ruth N. Halls Professor of Photography at Indiana University. He is the author of
Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust and his photographs are in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Wolin is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship.


"Two decades ago I discovered Scott Sanders’ writing and since then I’ve known true envy. Like all his works, [this book] is that rarest of gifts for a reader—a book that listens to and learns from every form of life around us, a hymn to our humanity writ in stone." —Charles Johnson, author of The Middle Passage, recipient of the National Book Award for Fiction, reviewing a previous edition or volume

In Limestone Country is a thoughtful and fine local geography. Scott Sanders, judging little and setting forth much, gives us texture and depth in southern Indiana, a place that’s dressed a phenomenal number of the nation’s enduring buildings." —Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams and Of Wolves and Men, reviewing a previous edition or volume

Sanders describes a rugged country full of history, hardship and natural wonders. Read this wonderful book for a glimpse of the past and of an industry that clothes our buildings and monuments." —Ohioana Quarterly , reviewing a previous edition or volume

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Table of Contents

Revisiting Stone Country
1. Hunting for What Endures
2. Bones and Shells
3. Digging
First Update
4. Doorways into the Depths
5. A Veteran
6. Poison
Second Update
7. The Men in the Trenches
8. Cutting
9. Three Carvers
Third Update
10. Truth on the Back Roads
11. Stone Towns and the Country Between
12. The Shape of Things to Come
Fourth Update
Epilogue: In Praise of Limestone
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