“[A] tale of the slow battle and eventual victory over the Trees and that relentless forest which even today marches in and takes over an Ohio field that has been left untilled for a year or two. The story is told with a feeling of poetry and the picturesque turn of language which characterized the speech of the frontier and can still be heard in the Ohio country districts.”
Conrad Richter's trilogy of novels The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town, (1950) traces the transformation of Ohio from wilderness to farmland to the site of modern industrial civilization, all in the lifetime of one character. The trilogy earned Richter immediate acclaim as a historical novelist. The Town won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1951, and The Trees was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection soon after it was published. Richter also received the 1947 Ohioana Library Medal for the first two volumes of the trilogy.
The Fields continues the saga of Sayward Luckett Wheeler, who marries the educated New Englander, Portius, and bears him eight children. In the second novel of his Awakening Land trilogy, Richter creates, in the character of Sayward, a woman who is honest and compelling, and her story is one readers will cherish and will want to read again and again.
Conrad Richter was born in Pennsylvania. His family on his mother’s side was identified with the early American scene, and from boyhood on he was saturated with tales and the color of Eastern pioneer days. In 1928 he and his family moved to New Mexico, where his heart and mind were soon captured by the Southwest. The Sea of Grass and The Trees were awarded the gold medal of the Societies of Libraries of New York University in 1942.
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