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Letter in a Woodpile (Gardener's Guides) Hardcover – May 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Gardener's Guides
  • Hardcover: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591862493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591862499
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 4.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,700,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed Cullen Cullen has worked for The Advocate, in Baton Rouge, for more than thirty years, covering all beats before becoming a features writer and Sunday columnist for the lifestyle section.

His first commentary, "Porch Steps Baseball, " aired on All Things Considered in July 2001. Since then, Cullen's essays have aired frequently on NPR.

Cullen is married to the former Martha Lynn Colvin of Alexandria. He has a son, a daughter, and a grandson.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookman on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ed Cullen captures the spirit of South Louisiana in this wonderful, beautifully written collection of essays. Cullen is a very popular columnist for the Baton Rouge Advocate and a regular contributor to NPR. The book is a collection of some of his best columns and essays. Readers from other parts of the country will find the book just as delightful (and insightful) as those of us in Baton Rouge. Cullen's prose often rises to the level of poetry and he almost perfectly captures the spirit and mood of Baton Rouge and south Louisiana in his essays. Simply put, he writes beautifully; his powers of observation are marvelous; and he can turn a unique phrase as well as anyone I know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Magendie VINE VOICE on February 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Letter in a Woodpile by Ed Cullen
Cool Springs Press

Reviewed by Kathryn Magendie (first printed in Roses & Thorns)

Letter in a Woodpile is 138 pages, but this slim collection is limitless in its lessons of life, love, family, and people quite comfortable in their skins, thank you very much. Although Cullen's essays are centered on citizens and places in South Louisiana, his prose concerns Every One and Every Place. From the boy, his father, and their homemade kite ("My Father's Kite"), to first crushes ("Tutti Frutti Girl"); from baseball, Hale-Bopp comet, gardening, and even hamsters and an armadillo, to the heralding of summer by its sounds ("Flip-flops"), one will be hard-pressed not to find an essay that touches on some aspect of their own lives. Letter in a Woodpile is nostalgia, a glimpse into a neighbor's backyard, a ride around the old block in an old blue pickup truck.

Cullen doesn't over-sentimentalize; he leads readers with a wink and a crooked finger to places he wishes us to go. And what are those places? A Baton Rouge full of interesting people and landscapes; a corner of New Orleans tourists may seldom, if ever, see; a farmhouse where chopped wood becomes a perfect place to leave messages for his son; his garden, where critters and people meet and call a truce, because that's just how it is sometimes.

Cullen's work on NPR's All Things Considered reaches the listener's ear, settling in warm and inviting, and his essays have no less effect on the reader's eye. In poignant slices of American apple pie and spirited dabs of Louisiana hot sauce, Cullen's essays span his childhood and adulthood, where he introduces readers to a life well lived.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, I'll admit from the start that I have a certain bias about this book. Although I've never met the author in person, his wife & I were good friends in high school and involved in lots of activities together - school, church, choir, attending concerts, etc. I reconnected with my friend in 2004 and learned then that her husband was a writer. Out of curiosity, I read some of Ed's pieces from Attic Salt, his column in the Baton Rouge Advocate and loved his style. When I came across the book, I had to have it and was not disappointed. Warm, witty, funny, nostalgic - sweet memories of growing up in Central Louisiana. This is a delightful and easy read. A great book of personal essays to read again and again. It's not often you get to review a book where you know several of the characters. This book is written from the heart. It's a treasure!
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