Place is t only a metaphor for the self; it can be the self objectified, including the self of years ago. So writes Catharine Savage Brosman, who explores the places of her own life in Finding Higher Ground. The tour, for the reader, is one of delight and wonder. Brosman's places range from the West Texas desert of her girlhood to a chilly flat in the rth of England; from the flooded streets of New Orleans to the sublimities of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Even as her meditations reflect on her connections to these places and the ways they have shaped her life, they also examine the broader connections between individual and community, culture and society, experience and memory. Her voice is unique - combining a poet's sensitivity to nuances of setting and behavior with salty good sense, passionate engagement in the world of letters, sly wit, and a rugged independence of character inherited from generations of her Western ancestors. Whether sipping wine in a Parisian cafe, partying with the jet set in Aspen, or contemplating the arid desert West that she loves so deeply, Brosman inhabits these settings, and many others, with a sense of adventure and discovery. To read these essays is to enjoy the company of a lively, thoughtful, original mind. Brosman's higher ground is that place we all seek - where we can find and express our own best selves.
Catharine Savage Brosman is professor emerita of French at Tulane University and author or editor of eighteen books dealing with French literature, as well as several collections of poetry and one volume of creative nonfiction, The Shimmering Maya and Other Essays.