When author Sue Westwind marries at midlife and moves to sixty acres of prairie woodland, she imagines that her life will now be fulfilled in ways she has always longed for. Yet the man she marries soon chafes at the demands of their rural life and tragically loses the passion for her that once had assured her their union would always be idyllic.
As her husband grows silent and distant both from her and the land they live on, she finds erotic fulfillment in the swells and folds of the earth itself, in trees and creeks, in deer and stones. She awakens to the land erotic, and in her ever-expanding and intimate connection to it, she discovers a kind of earth-based sexuality that rejuvenates her and gives her strength to endure.
This is a book of profound honesty and self-reflection, and this is writing that is exquisitely lyrical, placing Sue Westwind among the very best writers today whose bedrock subject is land and how we live upon it. If you have ever loved a piece of land—or wanted to—you must read The Land Erotic.
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“In The Land Erotic, we live Sue Westwind’s marriage and life with an intensity, a richness and rhythm of language, and a therapist’s empathy that brings to mind the thunderclap insights of robust poetry and music. Westwind’s erotic connection to her sixty acres of woods and prairie is as sensual as any “ecosexuality” I’ve read. The “healing erotic touch” of her land—“her partner in the real marriage”—runs parallel with her marriage to her husband, where harsh words “deflated love one micro-puncture at a time.” “How do you separate husband and place?” she asks. She trusts the land, where the forest teaches her forgiveness. In this story, we trust her.
— STEPHEN TRIMBLE, author of The Mike File: A Story of Grief and Hope and co-author of The Geography of Childhood
“With writing that is lucid and supple and natural, Sue Westwind eroticizes nature in a way that I’ve only seen male writers like Whitman and Lawrence do—although less directly. This is bold, daring stuff.”
— JERRY MASINTON, author of Wrong Man Down
“In a deeply personal memoir that is marked by uncommon honesty, Sue Westwind tells the story of the home and family she created on sixty acres of Midwestern woodland with her husband and two daughters. No other writer—female or male—has written about land transformed into lover with this kind of candor and with a lyricism that will take your breath away.”
— Russell Martin, author of Beethoven’s Hair, Out of Silence, and The Sorrow of Archaeology
“Sue Westwind is a graceful and lyrical writer, and these pages verily ooze with nature and sensuality—in stark contrast to the tough psychological dramas of her life. The Land Erotic is not only poetic and lilting, it is full of wise and insightful nuggets, often infused with a wry and witty humor.”
— HOWARD JAY SMITH, author of Meeting Mozart: From the Secret Diaries of Lorenzo Da Ponte and Beethoven in Love