Letters from the Country, one of Bly's best-known and best-loved books, is a collection of essays as fresh today as when they were originally published in Minnesota Monthly. This contemporary classic welcomes readers to the small town of Madison, Minnesota (population 2,242), a rural community struggling to place itself in the new American landscape.
The unique thing about these Letters, are that they were written over 30 years ago, but most of what Bly has to say is still very relevant. She comments on the administration in DC, which was Nixon's back then, but many of the things she says still apply today. This book has been in and out of print with various publishers since its publication and, happily, is back in print again. I think it should be required reading for small-town mayors, administrators and chambers of commerce.
Sadly, Carol Bly died of cancer a few years ago, another shining light in the arts extinguished too soon. I liked these essays well enough that I plan to try some of her fiction soon. Carol Bly was simply a wonderful writer.