Author of three short-story collections and one novel (Victory Over Japan, 1984), Gilchrist is best known for her National Public Radio broadcasts that speak of her childhood along the Mississippi and her adult writer's life. This book of ""journals"" is actually a carefully patterned quilt sewn of the author's NPR ""entries"" and a few assorted essays and speeches. Underlaid with a warm, subtle (sometimes precious) humor, these homey reflections on things near and far (as close as family, as distant as Bach--""It is impossible to be stupid while listening to Bach"") manage, in their spare manner, to pare down to the deceptively simple truth of things: ""We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or understand or explore."" To be illustrated with, the publisher promises, ""an abundance of pictures from the Gilchrist family albums,"" this volume should provide welcome fare for Gilchrist fans.