Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 2, Spring 2009, pp. 000-000
"I collect geodes," Lisa Knopp states at the beginning of her first essay, making for an engaging introduction to the entire collection that also encapsulates her vision of the world. She loves the natural world and the complexities of each situation that make it unique.
Later in her text she asks, "How does something firmly lodged in the periphery move to the center of one's awareness?" The question is cogent. Her essays consistently consider some peripheral topic-such as the moon or corn or one's childhood neighborhood-and then shift it forward, urging readers to remember, to think, to consider, to appreciate. As I moved from one essay to another, I found myself observing my surroundings more carefully and attempting to analyze situations from a different perspective.
Interior Places is personal, meaningful, and, as is consistently the case with Knopp's writing, thought-provoking. Each essay contains some new bit of information that always makes me glad to have read it. What can a reader expect? Here is a quick sample: "Bread and Butter," a look at the role of the railroad on the prairie; "Pilgrimage," a response to visiting Amelia Earhart's birthplace in Kansas; "In the Corn," an exploration of the plant, both biologically and culturally; "The Fence" (my favorite), an intense look at the extensive after effects of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in her Iowa hometown.