The Distance from Slaughter County

Lessons from Flyover Country

By Steven Moore

160 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7395-0
    Published: March 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7396-7
    Published: February 2023
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6405-5
    Published: February 2023

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Awards & distinctions

Finalist, 2024 Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction, Oregon Book Awards

As a soldier and civilian, Steven Moore has traveled from the American Midwest to Afghanistan and beyond. In those travels, he's seen what place can mean, specifically rural places, and how it follows us, changes us. What Moore has to say about rural places speaks to anyone who has driven a lonely road at night, with nothing but darkness as a cushion between them and the emptiness that surrounds. Place and how we define it—and how it defines us—is a through line throughout the collection of eleven essays. Moore writes about where we come from and the disconnection we often feel between each other: between veterans and nonveterans, between people of different political beliefs, between regions, between eras. These pieces build into a contemplative whole, one that is a powerful meditation on why where we come from means something and how we'll always bring where we are with us, no matter where we go.

About the Author

Steven Moore is the author of The Longer We Were There: A Memoir of a Part-Time Soldier, which won the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction. He's been published in multiple journals, including Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, and more.
For more information about Steven Moore, visit the Author Page.


"Steven Moore’s nuanced, hypnotic essays about growing up in the Midwest balance nostalgia with critique, sharing childhood memories that were formative to his identity . . . . If 'estrangement toward place … is an estrangement toward self,' these essays, with their sensitive probing of geographical identities, chart the way back to harmony."—Foreword Reviews (starred review)

"A series of impressionistic essays on the culture and history of middle America...Moore incisively catalogs the ironies and complexities of the Midwest. It’s a subtle yet effective eye-opener."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a stunning collection of essays, one that I would not only enjoy rereading but one I might someday teach. Moore writes focused and mobile narratives capable of embarking upon satisfying digressions and vigorous wanderings. I look forward to reading more of his work."—Matthew Vollmer, author of All of Us Together in the End

"Mr. Moore is to be congratulated on the beauty and meaningfulness of this work. The Distance from Slaughter County is one of the most thought-provoking considerations of how place shapes us and how we, in turn, shape place that I have ever read. Every reader will learn something about the complexities of the Midwest from this book, even those who have always lived there, and that's a big part of its magic."—Sarah Einstein, author of Mot: A Memoir