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Two Books Highlight Life in the Adirondacks and North Country

Two recently released books co-edited by a St. Lawrence University alumnus and a former St. Lawrence visiting professor highlight life and living in Northern New York State and the Adirondacks through a collection of reflective personal essays written by regional authors.

“Adirondack Reflections” and “North Country Reflections” illustrate both the pleasantries and the hardships of living in the far northern reaches of New York State and in the rugged terrain and climate of the Adirondack Mountains. Published by The History Press of Charleston, S.C., more than 50 writers, artists and photographers contributed to the two volumes, including several St. Lawrence University alumni, faculty and staff.

Neal Burdick ’72 co-edited the two books along with Maurice Kenny of Saranac Lake, N.Y. Kenny has written more than 30 collections of poetry and fiction. He has received an honorary doctorate from St. Lawrence University, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the American Book Award in 1984. Kenny also has taught as a visiting professor at St. Lawrence.

Burdick, who currently works as the director of editorial services for St. Lawrence University’s Communications division, said the books are a true testament to life in Northern New York.

“These authors live or have lived in the region as opposed to someone who comes here to vacation and goes back to the city to reflect on the experience,” Burdick said. “People don’t think there is much writing going on here and that most writing societies exist in urban areas. But there’s a lot of writing activity in this region. We wanted to give regional writers a forum to let the world know they exist and to let each other know they exist.”

For Burdick, two essays in particular illustrate the dichotomy of life in Northern New York State.

“One story is about cross-country skiing in the moonlight, while another is about being the daughter of a prison guard,” Burdick said. “There is both a lightness and a darkness of living in the North Country. It is a region of great contrasts.”

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY), which is located at 53 Main Street in Canton, will host a book signing and reading for “Adirondack Reflections” and “North Country Reflections” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27. Several of the book contributors will read from their essays and reflect on their writings. Both books will be on sale at TAUNY.