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My Reach: A Hudson River Memoir Hardcover – August 18, 2011
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"By intensively exploring the Hudson River by kayak, Susan Fox Rogers found a powerful means to connect with her community, the natural world, and her own emotions. This pensive memoir examines the role of her close connection with the river in helping her deal with the deaths of both her parents. . . . Her graceful prose and meditative tone offer a personal view into the age-old pull of a great American river as a source of refuge and revival in difficult times. . . . A quiet power builds from her eloquent observations and raw depiction of facing grief's ravages with the aid of the Hudson's solitude and space."―Library Journal (1 December 2011)
"Susan Fox Rogers captures many fascinating aspects of the Hudson River Valley, including its natural and environmental history, industry, famous individuals, early explorers, and native tribes. With Rogers as a guide, the reader follows her gaze, adopting her unique perspective as she ruminates about the local histories of towns along whose shores she paddles. . . . This is a rewarding and highly engaging memoir that Hudson Valley readers will no doubt want to share with their loved ones. Rogers' main message remains relevant: she reminds us of the therapeutic value of near-at-hand nature, the importance of companionship, and that we must all continue forth courageously."―Hudson River Valley Review
"Rogers overcomes these challenges in such a capable manner that, after finishing My Reach, I wanted to run around the block yelling for joy and telling people, 'Read this book!' It is clearly written, with a sense of wonder and self-deprecating wit. Her organizational style is clever; it seems like the book is moseying along but there is a reason and rightness to the order in which she relates experiences, or to the amount of time she devotes to each subject. . . . Regardless of whether you are interested in the Hudson, you will appreciate Rogers’ sense of adventure."―John Rowen, Kaatskill Life
"This is an elegantly written and beautiful book, dominated by powerful, antithetical emotions: grief over the loss of elderly parents and exhilaration with exploring a great American river. There is Huck Finn and his raft and the Mississippi―now there is Susan Fox Rogers and her kayak and the Hudson River to add to the American canon of glorious nature writing."―Philip Roth
"In prose that evokes the great naturalists Edwin Way Teale and Joseph Wood Krutch, Susan Fox Rogers presents an intimate history of the life and death that the Hudson embodies, and the ways a river can sustain the spirit and keep one 'alert to the richness of the world.' This is a wonderful book."―Tom Lewis, Skidmore College, author of The Hudson: A History
"Susan Fox Rogers's lovely and intimate My Reach is a map of the Hudson River that extends in at least three dimensions: time, space, and emotion. As specific as it is, it will resonate with anyone who has experienced a landscape as the setting of both their inner and their outer lives."―Luc Sante, author of Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York
"Susan Fox Rogers has delivered a unique love story about the Hudson River. Like all good love stories it is poetic, sometimes sad, full of discovery and history, and ultimately life- affirming. My Reach is a special memoir about intimacy with a river, and self―and the truth that paddling is about living right."―Holly Morris, author of Adventure Divas
"In passages clear and active as our imagined dream of the Hudson, Susan Fox Rogers acts as avid guide, giving an intimate ride down a river of personal and historic memory. Her Hudson becomes our Hudson."―Edie Meidav, author of The Far Field: A Novel of Ceylon and Crawl Space
"In a fresh and unassuming voice, Susan Fox Rogers sets out to tell the reader what she learns as she comes to know the Hudson River through kayaking near her home in Tivoli, New York, and beyond. What she hadn't anticipated, however, and what she shared, ultimately, is the heartbreaking and profoundly moving manner in which the river teaches her, as she faces a series of sudden and devastating personal losses, the nature of her very self."―Boyer Rickel, author of Taboo
"In My Reach, Susan Fox Rogers shares her deep affection for the complex beauty of the Hudson, respecting both the natural and mechanical worlds that form the life of the river. Within the first two pages she sets the stage, appreciating the metallic song of the katydids even as she enjoys the ripeness of two-stroke engine exhaust. This is a lovely and honest portrait of a river whose natural resources have shaped the course of the nation, and buoyed so many lives through loves and losses just like those Rogers confronts in this moving memoir."―Jessica DuLong, author of My River Chronicles
About the Author
Susan Fox Rogers is Visiting Associate Professor of Writing at Bard College. She is the editor of twelve books, including most recently Antarctica: Life on the Ice and Going Alone: Women's Adventures in the Wild.
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Top customer reviews
My Reach by Susan Fox Rogers is a classic memoir, very much in the style of great travel writers like Lawrence Durrell and Jonathan Raban, weaving together personal adventures with the history of a place that has meaning for the author. But what makes it stand out is that the book overlays the author's discovery of her love for the Hudson River with the pain of losing the love of her parents unexpectedly, with one dying fairly soon after the other.
I'm only half-way through the book, but I couldn't wait to send out a note encouraging readers looking for something special to grab this book.
The book has an extremely positive blurb by Philip Roth, who knows something about good writing. But don't expect Portnoy's Complaint or American Pastoral. Rogers has a voice all her own.
THe story of the bird and the snake in the beginning is classic.and hilarious.
While I still find comfort in the views of the mountains from the water’s edge, I have never slid a kayak into the Hudson or experienced the views from the river itself. The author takes us with her as she glides by old estates, monasteries, industries, and coastal towns on both the eastern and western shores. She kayaks over giant sturgeon, beneath osprey and herons, and alongside snapping turtles and cormorants. Her prose is as soothing as the sights and sounds she writes about.
The Hudson changes with the seasons and even the time of day, yet offers continuity and comfort. When the author lost her mother, then her father, the river cradled her in her grief. It was her sanctuary, her holy place, her refuge. It set her free. And this book, like the river, offers healing for the broken hearts we all share. It is like an old friend, to be kept close and revisited over and over again.
Most recent customer reviews
I particularly like the way the writer delights in the natural environment of...Read more