Set in the sweeping landscape of Montana, on the majestic, often perilous waters of Alaska, along the coastal lands and waterways of California, and in the skies over China and the Far East, Leaves from the Autumns of Yesterday tells the stories of people Ed Larson has lived with and loved.
Ed Larson paints pictures with his words and tells stories with his drawings. In Leaves from the Autumns of Yesterday, he takes you on a series of amazing adventures; and in due course, you will grow to respect and love Grandpa Charlie and Gram, Victor and Pete, and the cast of fisherman and fliers, family, friends, and lovers who have peopled Ed’s stories and his life.
Leaves from the Autumns of Yesterday reminds us that tenacity often triumphs over adversity; that life holds many surprising gifts; and that there is astounding beauty in the places, things, and people we so easily and often fail to notice and take for granted. Ultimately, this book is a reflection of a life well lived.
Leaves from the Autumns of Yesterday is Larson’s sixth book. A collection of mostly unpublished short stories, poems, and drawings that he has created over the course of his lifetime, it is, like the author (who recently celebrated his ninety-third year on this planet), aged to perfection.
Plot: The passage of time in Ed Larson’s nostalgic memoir largely proceeds at a calm, tranquil pace in the wilderness of mountainous Montana. Larson, even through child-like eyes, speaks to the impermanence of structures, places, and even family members and friends, but the relative persistence of memories.
Prose: Larson’s prose is clean, evocative, and broad-ranging in style and form, from eloquent essays on growing up in Depression-era Montana to long, abstract poems, and even shorter poetic musing, lending a quirky and textured reflection on the past.
Originality: This labor-of-love project depends on his collection of memories to describe the fleeting nature of time as colored through perception. Larson integrates a variety of mediums, including family photographs, varied and stylized typography, original illustrations, and quotes from famous poets--to create a text uniquely personal to his life.
Character Development: The story centers around young "Eddie” and his adventures, but occasional minor characters make their way into the story and embellish the memory-world he is weaving. The author as narrator is omniscient, yet views his memories again with a sense of child-like wonder and discovery.
Blurb: Edward Larson takes a unique approach to the memoir through this multimedia ode to the past; poignant and nostalgic essays, personal illustrations, and heirloom photographs enrich his life story.
Date Submitted: April 19, 2018
"Reading this book is pure joy. Ed's writing is as beautiful and textural as the finest paintings. Bringing the comfort of a warm hug after returning home from an arduous journey, it is a feast for the eyes."