John Burnside’s prominence has arguably been achieved through his award-winning poetry rather than through his fiction. Indeed, his preoccupation with the numinous quality of ordinary environments seems most suitably articulated in lyric rather than narrative form. This article, however, reconsiders his virtuosity as a novelist, exploring the way Glister and A Summer of Drowning reinvigorate the practice of regional writing. Tracing Burnside’s audacious strategies of ecological description, the essay charts his concern with reflecting on the political and phenomenological purposes of evoking natural landscapes together with the consolations that are generated by the act of evocation itself.


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