Richard Horan, award-winning novelist and avid nature lover, examines the culture of America's organic family farms, from Maine potato farms to Cape Cod cranberry bogs, in his most recent book Harvest: An Adventure into the Heart of America's Family Farms (HarperCollins). He is also the author of Seeds: One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty to Wharton (HarperCollins), a personal account of his journey to gather seeds from the trees that grace the grounds of America's most respected authors. He has spoken to audiences at colleges, libraries, and museums about the environment, his family, and the importance of historic preservation.
While writing Harvest, Horan embarked upon an adventure across America, in search of connections with the farmers, the soil, the seasons, and the lifeblood of America, only to conclude that farming is still the vibrant beating heart of this country. Horan takes his audiences on an eye-opening and unforgettable transformational journey across the length and breadth of this remarkable land, offering a powerful national portrait of challenge and diligence, and an inspiring message of hope.
Horan's novel Goose Music was a finalist for the Great Lakes Fiction Award and won the ForeWord Book of the Year Bronze Medal. In addition to his writing, Horan has had a colorful career, traveling as a professional middleweight boxer, teaching English overseas in Belgium and South Korea with the Department of Defense, and working as a nurse's aide in a Wisconsin mental hospital. It was this experience that led to his first novel, Life in the Rainbow . The book received praise from NPR's All Things Considered, The New York Times, The Boston Book Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Publisher's Weekly, The Kirkus Review, The Stamford Advocate, and more.
Horan has spent the past twenty years teaching English in the Wisconsin and New York State public school systems and currently lives in Oswego, NY. He and his wife, a professional jazz vocalist, have two grown daughters and spend their time working as family-care providers for cognitively disabled adults.
Praise for Harvest:
"Horan loves a road trip, he loves talk with strangers, he loves people who take their work seriously, he loves working with his hands, he loves rural landscape, and he loves food. Trust me when I tell you that it's all there in Harvest, reported with high spirits by a writer of uncommon vigor." --Tom Powers, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Killing of Crazy Horse
"Richard Horan has brought us a welcome view of America to defy the prevailing political and financial nastiness. This is a timely and important book." -- Ted Morgan, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Wilderness at Dawn
Praise for Seeds:
"Seeds reads like the best of a roundtable discussion amongst John Muir, Bill Bryson, and David Sedaris. From the fields of Gettysburg to the home of Kerouac, Horan takes an unlikely premise and weaves it into a story that's poignant, insightful and unexpectedly humorous. This is more than a book about seeds -- it's about literary heroes, forensic forestry, and self-discovery."
-- Spike Carlsen, author of A Splintered History of Wood
"Once in a decade a book as good as Seeds appears from nowhere to astonish and delight us. Something very remarkable is unfolding here -- Horan's odyssey to collect seeds from the trees that lingered near the homes of his favorite writers. Some of his tales are full of interesting lore, others are touching, more than a few are funny as hell." -- Thomas Powers