Moving Out, Finding Home

by Bob Fox

  Robert Bob Fox
         
This book may be obtained from your local bookstore, on-line vendors such as B&N and Amazon, or you may order directly from the publisher.

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REVIEW 1   

Moving Out, Finding Home, 179 pages, ISBN 1893239322, softcover, $15.00.

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Moving Out, Finding Home is a sensitive series of essays in which Fox writes of Appalachian farm life and an early job as an escort to a blind blues musician. His Famous Tractors I Have Owned will make readers wonder if Fox's farm is really the old Haney Place from Green Acres. Most movingly, Fox writes of his wife's long battle with cancer; the book is dedicated to her memory. Fox himself died of cancer in March, a month after the publication of Moving Out, Finding Home.
     --- Akron Beacon Journal

 

 

 

When 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 a resort 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.