Love, Out of PlaceEight essays exploring how identity is shaped by place and its people
The word “terroir” refers to the climate and soil in which something is grown. In this essay collection, Natasha Sajé applies this idea to people and their relationships, exploring in particular how the immigrant experience has shaped her identity. As she revisits people and literature across her life, she plumbs ...
Sajé’s essays offer incisive commentary on nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Hers are not tales of melancholy or victimization but rather stories of human understanding. Taken as a whole, the essays ask how terroir creates identity, reminding us that change is constant in our lives.
“Thoughtful essays...will fascinate readers interested in the interplay between identity and place." — Publishers Weekly
“A complex and full-hearted book. As Sajé grapples with what it means to be a human living in community with other humans, she must also consider complicating questions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, professional and familial loyalties, nationality, and economic class. This is not a book to suggest we are all human and therefore all the same, capable of loving and being loved. Rather, in these pages Sajé struggles with what makes us all different, and what it means when she stands by someone in the face of all that might set her and all others apart.” — Camille T. Dungy, author of Guidebook to Relative Strangers
“Such a gorgeous memoir-in-essays. One of the most beautiful and intimate self-portraits I’ve read in recent years. Sajé's mix of intellectual chops and emotional candor creates an unsparing account of one smart and compassionate person’s life. That this life becomes a conduit and critique of the last forty or so years of political and social upheaval is an added and bracing benefit for the reader. I can’t say, ‘I couldn’t put this book down.’ On the contrary, I put the book down quite often to further reflect upon rich worlds and observations it opened for me. ” — Robin Hemley, author of Borderline Citizen: Dispatches from the Outskirts of Nationhood
“Terroir is an important collection of personal essays on the theme of otherness, derived from a lifetime of uncommon experience, that offers new ways of thinking about what it means to be human. ‘Awareness of the increasingly pressing question of how to spend my time on earth makes every choice significant,’ Natasha Sajé writes. And her reflections on those choices are by turns revelatory, challenging, and deeply moving. Such wisdom she possesses!” — Christopher Merrill, author of Self-Portrait with Dogwood
“Natasha Sajé’s essays examine coming of age in America as a profoundly intersectional experience with her honest exploration of what it means to be an insider, an outsider, and a passionately alert artist. Her essays are conjured from an inexplicable combination of elements—a terroir—that’s at once sensual and intellectual, self-scouring and celebratory.” — Lia Purpura, author of All the Fierce Tethers