Beyond Yonder

by Stephen Morris
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When Darwin Hunter decides to update Over Yonder Hill (Alton Blanchard's history of the tiny Vermont hamlet of Upper Granville), the result is Beyond Yonder, a chronicle of the cultural divide between the entrenched natives and the invaders from the Land of Flat. From "Babysitters" to "Zucchinis" the contrasting world views are examined and skewered.

Beyond Yonder is part one of "Stories and Tunes," Stephen Morris's "four-part" trilogy of life in the rural North.

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Beyond Yonder

by Stephen Morris

I have a complaint: I'm just half way through Beyond Yonder and am so in awe of your ability to write in the Vermont Woodchuck vernacular, that I feel like retiring my feeble pen (keyboard) and going back to work in the fields. Your writing is absolute "genius" (and I know, because I'm a woodchuck), plus, you've covered all possible woodchuck subjects in one small book...there's nothing left for someone like me to write about now! Great stuff!!

-- Burr Morse

A hilarious send-up of life in Vermont ... Morris has written a marvelous comedy that's a must.

-- Publisher's Weekly

An amusing potpourri of tall tales about a little Vermont town adjusting to an invasion of the young and upwardly mobile.

-- Kirkus Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is a hilarious send-up of life in Vermont, the characters of which are a mixed bag of "chucks" (natives) and "flatlanders" (those who "recently" have moved to Vermont even if as long as 30 years earlier). Morris, marketing director for a Vermont manufacturer of wood stoves, knows the territory. The seemingly endless, bleak and dreary winters (when "ice dams" form on the roof and cause leaks) are followed by mud season, the few short weeks of summer (when wood for winter is gathered and zucchini abounds) and the beauty of autumn (when "leaf peepers" number in the thousands). The story, set in the fictional town of Upper Granville, is told from the viewpoint of a local entrepreneur, Darwin Hunter, who is attempting to write a local history. The town is near enough to Burlington (the state's largest city) for occasional shopping sprees and aerobics classes for flatlanders, which add to the fun. Morris has written a marvelous comedy that's a must for "chucks" and "flatlanders" alike.

Copyright © 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Beyond Yonder

by Stephen Morris
PREFACE: North Country Dominion7
PART ONE: Over and Beyond9
     Over Yonder Hill9
     B. J. Bosco Comes to Town15
     Beyond Yonder26
     A Cast of Characters29
     Awaiting the Muse45
PART TWO: From the Collected Notes of Darwin Hunter47
     Act 25047
     Beach, The57
     Church, The80
     Community Events85
     Deer Hunting97
     Drunk Driving108
     Dump, The112
     Fourth of July118
     How-Not-To Guide124
     Ice Dams129
     Mud Season134
     Physical Fitness141
     Thunder Road156
     Town Meeting162
     Tunbridge World's Fair166
     Winter Driving176
     Wood Stoves182
PART THREE: The First (Since 1892) Spring Fling 195
     Over Beyonder203

Beyond Yonder

by Stephen Morris
Part One
Upper Granville B.F.
(Before Flatlanders)

Over Yonder Hill

The valley runs north and south for almost four miles. Hills rise on all sides, Granville Ridge to the east, Bear Hill to the west, Bailey's Peak to the north, obscure and unnamed mounds to the south. Tomar Brook is the primary watershed, originating as a series of rivulets in the surrounding hills and emptying into the Fifth Branch of the White River. This stream, in turn, cuts through Granville "Gulf" (the Vermonter's term for the narrow ravine between two sharply angled hills) and flows eventually into the Connecticut River.

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cover: Beyond Yonder by Stephen Morris
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Beyond Yonder

by Stephen Morris
© Darwin Hunter 1987
privately published

There are thirteen structures in Upper Granville, not counting outbuildings or the remains of a trailer complex established by a group of misguided Canadians in 1981 and demolished in 1983. The dominant edifice is the church, built by community artisans in 1839, the year of Hiram Blanchard's arrival. It is a solid structure, lacking the inspirational accent of a towering spire, but majestic enough to comment appropriately on the relationship of man and the cosmos in this rural setting.
Five houses predate the church. Four are standard capes, probably built by the same man in quick succession during the first influx of settlers. Although the years have given these structures individual personalities, they still bear the imprint of the same craftsman's hand. The other early building is the two-story, brick colonial built originally as a tavern. For more than a hundred and fifty years this place has set the standard for style and elegance in the community, and its respective owners have maintained it with careful pride.
The second wave of building came during the late 1800s. The schoolhouse and the Blanchards' two farmhouses, undistinguished but functionally well-suited structures, still stand. The schoolhouse is a one-room classic now converted to a residence. The Blanchard farmhouses are large with hodgepodge additions and extensions that tell of days when houses grew along with families.
What is a "Four-Part Trilogy?"

Next up from The Public Press: the first three books, revised and improved, in Stephen Morris's Vermont epic, the four part trilogy.

books in the Four-part Trilogy

Life has a way of interfering with art. Beyond Yonder, The King of Vermont, and Darwin and the Tunnel of Love were always intended by the author to be a single work, telling the epic story of the daily lives and times of the inhabitants of the tiny hamlet of Upper Granville, Vermont.

But life intervenes. It happens! Day jobs take priority. Parents grow old. Little publishers sell to big publishers. Editors move on to different jobs. Opportunities knock. Kids leave home. It happens! It happens! And it happens!

As a result, the epic novel came out in fits and spurts. First, Beyond Yonder. That's when the publisher got sold. Then, King of Vermont, that's when the editor quit. Meanwhile, a real life equivalent to Upper Granville began appearing on the pages of the Vermont Sunday Magazine. Now, the region had a name, Beyonder, to describe that part of Vermont that is next to nothing, but not far away from anywhere. Tales and More Tails is a collection of Beyonder's "Stories and Tunes."

The Public Press is pleased to present Beyonder in its original glory ficticious and non-ficticious. This is the Director's cut, digitally remastered, and in full Dolby sound. This is Beyonder at the peak of foliage, at the depth of Mud Season despair, in the procreational frenzy of the vernal kaboom, and in the enveloping eternity of an August night watching the meteors shower in a part of the world where you can actually still see them.

The four books in Stephen Morris
In Beyonder, 4 books make 1 trilogy
Stephen Morris
interview with publisher and author Stephen Morris
cover: Beyond Yonder by Stephen Morris : click for more on this book
Beyond Yonder
by Stephen Morris
cover: King of Vermont by Stephen Morris
King of Vermont
by Stephen Morris
cover: Tales and More Tails by Stephen Morris
Tales & More Tales
by Stephen Morris
cover: Tunnel of Love by Stephen Morris
Tunnel of Love
by Stephen Morris

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The four books in Stephen Morris
In Beyonder, 4 books make 1 trilogy

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