From Publishers Weekly
Former magazine editor Tsui asked 20 writers aged 30 and under to reflect on ways in which they have connected with nature, and in this collection presents their original, often humorous answers. In the essay that inspired the book's title, Tim Neville tells how he spent his senior year in high school living in a tent in his parents' suburban yard, imagining he was having a Thoreau-like experience. Some of the writers tried to emulate explorers of the past. Sam Moulton and three friends, for example, made a three-month-long canoe trip to the Arctic Circle with little know-how and ridiculously inappropriate supplies. Thoughts of Ernest Shackleton inspired Traci Joan Macnamara to take a disillusioning job at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Others fulfilled their need for nature in unlikely places—Adam Baer on an outdoor tennis court, Christine DeLucia in Massachusetts's Mount Auburn Cemetery, Liesl Schwabe in a Brooklyn, N.Y., greenmarket. No matter what the approach, all the essays are imaginative and unusual, harbingers of what we may expect from nature writing as the last truly wild places disappear, and people have to take nature wherever they can find it. (Apr.)
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Seeking insight into how writers under 30 gain connection to the natural world, editor Tsui has formed a collection that is at once boisterous and heartfelt. The selections range from Tim Neville's piece on camping in his backyard after a devastating high-school breakup to Jim Prosek's pursuit of "eelian thinking" among New Zealand's Maori. Tim Heffernan writes of lessons learned in self-reliance at remote Deep Springs College, while Hugh Ryan offers a delightful recollection of time spent at the Radical Faeries commune in "Sissies in the Woods." Christine DeLucia ruminates on cemeteries, Traci Joan Macnamara follows Shackleton's legend to Antarctica, and Nicole Davis goes on a somewhat doomed road trip into the past. Tsui has included essays about finding yourself, your parents, or your people, about struggling to change or refusing to compromise. An anthology that fairly bowls the reader over with its exuberance, this unusual collection shows just how welcoming the genre of nature writing is for talented new writers. Colleen MondorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved