In A Man From Ohio, Edward Clark relates the story of a life at once entirely familiar and remarkably singular.
Volume I: Home and Beyond charts the origins of Clark’s hardworking small-town Ohio family; his early childhood, played out with cautious joy beneath the ever-present shadow of the Great Depression; an adolescence marked in equal measure by hopeful confidence and uncertain prospects; the brief euphoria of college life, cut short by war; involvement in the Allied push for victory in Europe; an emerging wanderlust and the growing sense that, maybe, the Continent was his true home. In prose that is forthright, evocative and often luminous, Clark recounts a life that, while tethered to the twin pillars of a loving family and the unquestioned traditions of Christian middle America, is inexorably drawn into the larger world—fraught with change and the unknown, with obstacles and dangers both real and imagined—by his own burgeoning need to understand the why of things.
Volume ll: At Home and Abroad, continues the story. Returning from the war, Clark’s small town seems yet smaller, too small to contain his quest for words, learning, and life. He eventually returns to Europe and continues his education through the halls of Cambridge University in England, the Sorbonne in France, and Heidleberg College in Germany. A small-town man, with an expanded mind, he balances his homespun values against his real world experiences, hungers for life and love, searches for a place where all he is and all he wants to be can coexist.