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Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas Paperback – November 12, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


That a cartographer could set out on a mission that's so emotional, so personal, so idiosyncratic, was news to me. --Ira Glass, from his introduction to Everything Sings

Everything Sings is an atlas that is not an atlas: it is a series of stories that, along with Denis Wood s illuminating text, read like a compelling work of fiction. Welcome to the mysterious, mundane, unique, and commonplace world of Boylan Heights, a location fortunate enough to be flattered with the kind of inventive and groundbreaking mapping Wood offers here. --Katherine Harmon, editor of You Are Here: Personal Geographies & Other Maps of the Imagination

About the Author

The author of the popular and highly influential The Power of Maps, Wood has been a key figure in disseminating the idea that all maps reflect a certain and powerful subjectivity rather than represent an objective reality. The Power of Mapsbegan as Wood's curatorial vision for an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 1992 and became a book in the same year (the exhibition was remounted the following year at the Smithsonian). Wood has written numerous books that critique, investigate, and, ultimately, reorient his readers not only to the micro-spatial our neighborhoods, homes, and bodies but also to our own very human instinct to understand where we live through making maps. These books include The Natures of Maps: Cartographic Constructions of the Natural World (University of Chicago, 2009) co-authored with John Fels, Rethinking the Power of Maps (Guilford, 2010) with Fels and John Krygier, Five Billion Years of Global Change: A History of the Land (Guilford, 2003), and Home Rules (John Hopkins University Press, 1994).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Siglio; First edition (November 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979956242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979956249
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Alison K. Sainsbury on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the Introduction to this book, Wood asks us to consider what maps would be like if they were designed to convey the experience of place in order to celebrate and conserve it rather than serving as instruments for those who wish to remake and destroy it (suburb makers, freeway designers, etc). I'm not a cartographer or a demographer, so I can't comment with authority on how this book might affect the way those professionals re-think what they do (as Joni Seager's work has done, for example), but I am an English professor who teaches nature writing and environmental literature, and to me this book is a marvel. Wood, along with his students, has spent over 20 years mapping his neighborhood, Boylan Heights, and the many ingenious ways he's chosen to represent it illuminate life there in ways that are charming as well as eye-opening. The maps themselves work on you like the image, like works of art--the cover, for example, represents where in Wood's neighborhood you will find jack-o-lanterns on Halloween. Others of my favorite maps in the book are the view of the stars looking up through the treetops and the light pools of illumination from street lights--which is not the same at all as mapping the location of street lights with a small circle. Using this book as inspiration, I have asked my own students to create maps of our campus that would convey to a map-user/reader a way to experience and understand the natural aspects of our campus. Students produced such maps as those of edible plants on campus, places to sit (the official campus map contains only buildings and sidewalks), the progress of shadows from trees throughout the day. (I'm still waiting for someone to map the ghost trees on campus, that is, those that have blown or been cut down.) You will not look at either the world or maps in the same way after you read this book. I can't recommend it highly enough!
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Format: Paperback
I Sought this book out after hearing it described on This American Life. I am fascinated by the maps, and the window they offer on a community / Neighbourhood. I also really enjoyed the authors essay more than I expected to.
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Format: Paperback
"...this book is a single sheet of an epic novel yet to be written, mapping uncharted territories we have yet to discover for stories whose names we have yet still to learn." Andrew Berardini on "Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas"

Read the full review on the Art Book Review:
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