--- Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Fox was nineteen and seeking independence he left his Brooklyn home on a
Trailways bus to California. Within a week his parents died in
hotel fire in the Catskills. This is where Fox’s book Moving Out,
Finding Home: Essays on Identity, Place, Community and Class begins. The
book is a series of closely linked autobiographical essays which read much
like a novel, or a combination novel and social commentary. Fox gives the
reader new insights as he deftly discusses art, farming, music, race
relations, devastating illness, and the search for meaning. |
I think that what I'm most fascinated by in Bob Fox's memoir is measuring the similarities and differences in our lives: age, geography, calling. I watch our souls drift---like smoke---touching, separating. Bless our souls!
--- Gerald Stern, winner of the National Book Award in Poetry
The essays in Bob Fox's Moving Out, Finding Home are as rigorous and as muscular as his native Brooklyn, as beautiful and as calm as his adopted southeastern Ohio hills. A gentle wisdom is at work here, the hard-earned knowledge of a survivor, given to us, his lucky readers, with pluck and grace and love. Whether writing about farm life, family, labor and class, catastrophic illness, music, or the place of the arts in our culture, Bob Fox, in prose clear and concise and moving, reminds us to question and celebrate the richly textured world and the places we call home.
--- Lee Martin, author of Turning Bones and From Our House
Moving Out, Finding Home is beautifully written. The essays are individual pieces but Fox's storytelling gift unites them to make a powerful story of his life-long journey to find his true home place in this world. In examining his experience of complex family life, he has not flinched from hard truths. Fox's tender presentation of these ultimately tragic stories moved me deeply.
--- Gurney Norman, author of the counter-culture classic Devine Right's Trip
From the book --
I was born during World War II of Russian immigrant parents and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but became an Appalachian farmer in the 1970s. The identity change was not sudden or premeditated—I did not consciously alter my speech or behavior. Yet in Columbus, Ohio, an acquaintance confessed his surprise upon learning I was a native New Yorker. He thought I was from Pomeroy, Ohio, my mailing address for many years. I’m flattered when my Appalachian friends say, "You’re just an old hillbilly like us."
Southeast Ohio became home for my wife Susan and me in the late 1960s when I accepted a teaching assistantship in English at Ohio University. We thought we would live in Athens for two, maybe three, years before I moved on in my academic and literary careers. However, from the moment of our arrival, another unplanned apprenticeship began, as a member of an Appalachian community.
We lived in southeast Ohio for twenty years, fourteen spent on our own farm. Visitors from New York and even cosmopolitan Athens wondered how two Brooklynites could settle so far in the boonies. We did not move there all at once, but by degrees. Those who knew us well knew we had no stomach for orthodoxy. Our turn-of-the-century homestead sat near Snowville. People unfamiliar with southeast Ohio place names thought we made it up. They hadn’t heard of Coolville and New Straitsville.