In the Memory of the Map by Christopher Norment
A Cartographic Memoir (Sightline Books)

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Throughout his life, maps have been a source of imagination and wonder for Christopher Norment. Mesmerized by them since the age of eight or nine, he found himself courted and seduced by maps, which served functional and allegorical roles in showing him worlds that he might come to know and helping him understand worlds that he had already explored.

Maps may have been the stuff of his dreams, but they sometimes drew him away from places where he should have remained firmly rooted. In the Memory of the Map explores the complex relationship among maps, memory, and experience—what might be called a “cartographical psychology” or “cartographical history.” Interweaving a personal narrative structured around a variety of maps, with stories about maps as told by scholars, poets, and fiction writers, this book provides a dazzlingly rich personal and intellectual account of what many of us take for granted.

A dialog between desire and the maps of his life, an exploration of the pleasures, utilitarian purposes, benefits, and character of maps, this rich and powerful personal narrative is the matrix in which Norment embeds an exploration of how maps function in all our lives. Page by page, readers will confront the aesthetics, mystery, function, power, and shortcomings of maps, causing them to reconsider the role that maps play in their lives.



About Christopher Norment

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Christopher Norment is a professor of environmental science and biology at SUNY College at Brockport, where he specializes in the breeding biology and ecology of migratory birds. In addition to numerous scientific articles, he is the author of Return to Warden’s Grove: Science, Desire, and the Lives of Sparrows (Iowa, 2008) and In the North of Our Lives: A Year in the Wilderness of Northern Canada. He lives with his wife and children in Brockport, New York.
Published March 15, 2012 by University Of Iowa Press. 265 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Roughly chronological (but with flashbacks), the narrative covers his boyhood wanderings in California, his childhood fascination with gas-station maps, his experiences following feral burros in Death Valley, his pleasant memories of working with Outward Bound and his hikes with his children and ...

Jan 15 2012 | Read Full Review of In the Memory of the Map: A C...

Publishers Weekly

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"Relational correspondence" is how a map translates to the real world, and environmental scientist and lifelong outdoorsman Norment (Return to Warden's Grove) has built a warm, sentimental memoir around the role maps have played in his own life—from being "seduced" by them as a young child in S...

Feb 27 2012 | Read Full Review of In the Memory of the Map: A C...

Hippocampus Magazine

In his memoir, In the Memory of the Map (University of Iowa Press, 2012), Christopher Norment introduces readers to cartography, otherwise known as map-making.

Apr 01 2012 | Read Full Review of In the Memory of the Map: A C...

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