From Publishers Weekly
Published in 1984, Unger's debut novel depicts life on the American farm as one women struggles to keep her father's land while facing the harsh realities of modernization.
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“This fine first novel courts comparison with Willa Cather’s . . . O Pioneers! But there is a big difference, since O Pioneers! . . . is about beginnings, while Leaving the Land is, sadly and disturbingly, about endings. It shows family farming giving way to corporate farming and agribusiness. . . . Marge [Hogan] has character, which is probably not inheritable. It is a rare commodity in modern novels.”—New York Times Book Review
(New York Times Book Review
“Nothing can now reverse the decline of the way of life Unger describes, but his beautiful and haunting book is at least a worthy monument to it.”—[London] Times Literary Supplement
([London] Times Literary Supplement
“Douglas Unger’s first novel is one of [the] year’s best. . . . He’s made a powerful debut.”—Newsweek
“An unusually mature first novel, as unsentimental as its unlucky heroine, but filled with a sly affection for unwitting victims.”—New Yorker
“Leaving the Land will win prizes. Or ought to. It is loving and tough and so honest it makes your teeth rattle. . . . An outstanding book about who we are.”—Boston Globe
“A vivid and memorable portrait of a small South Dakota farming community whose colorful folk traditions and way of life are destroyed by corporate agribusiness. The power of the book rests on it realistic characters. . . . Unger’s language is spare and clean—his prose often as stark as the land he describes.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
(San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
“An affecting, grittily realistic tale that moves to the steady, compelling rhythm of the changing seasons.”—Publishers Weekly