From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this superior essay collection, each of 13 nature writers (linked by Bill McKibben, who provides a foreword) deliver an exquisite, powerful piece on life and how it's lived. Besides nature, these writers are united in the strength and economy of their prose: "One day a strong goose came into my life," Lisa Courturier begins, in a story of her wildlife rehabilitation center; Susan Cerulean calls a swallow-tailed kite, "living origami." McKibben, citing Barry Lopez, asserts that "the real topic of nature writing is human community"; in her contribution, Diane Hueter Warner compares ferocity in nature and in humanity, "a tornado in the black of night" against a vicious home invader. Mortality is another recurring theme; Jordan Fisher Smith's entry features a dying man: "each lungful of oxygen, each moment, and then each next moment-these are all life is made of when nothing else can be counted on. And for this reason there is a strange peace at the center of catastrophe." Featuring an array of polished voices and exquisite imagery, this collection is not to be missed by fan of nature writing or literary nonfiction.
About the Author
Kurt Caswell, assistant professor of creative writing and literature in the Honors College at Texas Tech University, is the author of An Inside Passage, which won the 2008 River Teeth literary nonfiction book prize. His essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Isotope, Janus Head, Matter, Ninth Letter, Northern Lights, Orion, and Potomac Review. He lives in Lubbock, Texas. Susan Leigh Tomlinson is director of the Natural History and Humanities degree program in the Honors College at Texas Tech University. Her work has appeared in Writing on the Wind: An Anthology of West Texas Women Writers. Diane Hueter Warner works in Texas Tech’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, where she is responsible for the James Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World.William E. Tydeman is an archivist in the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University. Bill McKibben, author of many books on nature and the environment, is a scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College and lives with his family in Vermont.