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A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World Paperback – April 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books; 1 edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578051274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578051274
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Mondor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Bonnie Tsui is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. A graduate of Harvard University and a former editor at Travel + Leisure, she has written for The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic Adventure, Salon, and Conde Nast Traveller, among other publications. She is the editor of A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise, a collection of essays on the outdoors, and is a recipient of the Radcliffe Traveling Fellowship, the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism, and the Jane Rainie Opel Award from the Radcliffe Institute, for outstanding contribution to her profession. She lives in San Francisco with her husband.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Alberigi McKenzie VINE VOICE on October 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is just down-right fun. I read this in bed, laughing, and was getting some pretty strange looks from my husband. Read about the kid who is so love-sick he moves out of his bedroom and into his tent in the back yard. He stays there long past this love-of-his-life turns stale. The tent gets stale too. He lives in it for a very long time. Beautifully written teenage-angst.

These stories range from humor to thoughtful prose. What a treat.
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