To the Best of Our Knowledge (Wisconsin Public Radio)
In 2004 Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht coined the term "solastalgia." It was his way of describing the combination of grief and longing people feel when a place they love has been damaged. He tells Anne Strainchamps when he first began to notice the phenomenon, about ten years ago. Indiana author Scott Russell Sanders understands the feeling. He worries that most of America is becoming the same. He tells Steve Paulson that the best way to fight the homogenization of America is to reclaim its particularity.
Novella Carpenter was thrilled when she and her boyfriend found an affordable apartment in the Bay Area, and even more when she discovered it had a vacant lot next door. She immediately began to imagine a garden, more like a farm, but the author of "Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer" tells Jim Fleming that there was a drawback to her urban farm dream – the apartment was in Oakland, then called "the murder capital of the world."
For writer Adam Nicolson, attachment to place goes deep. He grew up in Sissinghurst Castle, one of the most beautiful places in England, home to the celebrated garden of his grandmother, the poet Vita Sackville-West. When he returned as an adult he was astonished and saddened to see that the working farm at the garden had disappeared. He tells the story in a book called "Sissinghurst - An Unfinished History." He tells Anne Strainchamps it was a magical place to grow up.
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