New Books: David Rhodes's Driftless

As a writer enjoying a re-birth in popularity, David Rhodes is about as unlikely as they come. Before his 1977 motorcycle crash, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, he was considered one of the country’s most promising young writers. His new book is notable not only for the praise it has achieved, but because it takes place in another forgotten corner of the U.S. — the Driftless region of southwest Wisconsin, an area that many local fly fishers would prefer to keep secret. “The region’s peculiar terrain is due to its having escaped glaciation during the last glacial period. The term ‘driftless’ indicates a lack of glacial drift, the material left behind by retreating continental glaciers – something of a subtle and elaborate metaphor for the novel where people are relatively unmoved by the passage of time, the progression of modern society that seems to roll along all around them but never directly contacts their lives.” John Holt writes about Driftless (Milkweed Editions, September 2008, 352 pages) in the California Literary Review.
Driftless on Amazon.

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  • A sincere thank you to Marshall for the lead on this book set in my favorite corner of Wisconsin. There is a wonderful sense of “place” in the heart of the Driftless region and it’s streams are a source of great pleasure to anglers in Wisconsin. A protective lot these fly anglers, insisting the area be a secret is long gone – but insisting it be cared for is a must. Thanks for the great info I look forward to this read.
    AP Winterstein

  • Tobin

    Thanks for the lead on this book. Having grown up in that area and learning to trout fish on those small streams in those small valleys in the late 60’s and early 70’s, brings back some great memories. Have been trying to figure out a way to concoct a trip back there to see what it looks like now.

  • Cathy

    There is a beautiful collecter’s book called Mayflies of the Driftless Region that was published by Midnight Paper Sales a couple of years ago. Midnight Paper Sales is a specialty press. It took four years to make this little book. Each color of every image is printed directly from a separate and original end-grain maple block, carved by Gaylord Schanilec. The text is written and printed in original hand set Bembo metal type by Professor Clarke Garry. There are thirteen mayflies that are characterized with art work.