Poignant and relevant, Patricia Klindienst’s first book is a collection of essays, portraits of different immigrant gardeners and how they have retained their unique cultures through seed and soil, while blending into American society at the same time. The book takes us from Connecticut to California, from the Low Country to land-locked New Mexico, introducing us to vibrant individuals whose passion for the earth is only rivaled by the author’s own.
Herself a master gardener, Klindienst’s voice is much more akin to Studs Terkel as she shares these stories, and while there is an undertone of politics, and the importance of sustainable food use, it is the humanity that shines in this book.
The only flaw is a lack of photographs – gardens are meant to be seen, after all – and one wonders if a coffee-table style presentation might not have been more effective.
The trade paperback edition of The Earth Knows My Name will be released in April, 2007.