Denis Wood: Everything Sings, 2nd Revised Edition
Maps for a Narrative Atlas
Introduction by Ira Glass. Text by Albert Mobilio, Ander Monson. Interview by Blake Butler.
The acclaimed geographer Denis Wood has written numerous books (including the influential bestseller The Power of Maps) that reorient his readers to our neighborhoods, homes and bodies. At the heart of Wood’s investigations is a near-legendary endeavor: the Boylan Heights maps, begun in 1982, and first presented in Everything Sings (2010). Surveying his century-old, half-square mile neighborhood Boylan Heights in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wood began by paring away the inessential “map crap” (scale, orientation, street grids), then found elegant ways to represent such phenomena as radio waves permeating the air, the light cast by street lights and Halloween pumpkins on porches. As radio host Ira Glass writes in his introduction to this volume, “we see which homes have wind chimes and which ones call the cops. We see the route of the letter carrier and the life cycle of the daily paper. Wood is writing a novel where we never meet the main characters, but their stuff is everywhere.” This second edition includes eight new maps (including one of barking dogs!), other new visual material plus original essays by Ander Monson and Albert Mobilio and an interview with Blake Butler that appeared in a more abbreviated form in The Believer.