Tracking Desire: A Journey after Swallow-tailed Kites

3.48 avg rating
( 23 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780820326979: Tracking Desire: A Journey after Swallow-tailed Kites

“My memory is etched with a clear image of how that bird swung into view and hung over me, suspended like an angel, so starkly black and white, with its wide-scissored split of a tail.”

It took just one sighting of a swallow-tailed kite to dispatch Susan Cerulean on a pilgrimage through its fragmented and ever-shrinking habitats. In Tracking Desire, Cerulean immerses us in the natural history and biology of Elanoides forficatus. At the same time, she sifts through her past―as a child, student, biologist, parent, and activist―to muse on a lifelong absorption with nature.

Once at home throughout much of the eastern United States, the swallow-tailed kite is now seldom seen. With ornithologist Ken Meyer, and then on her own, Cerulean roams the kite’s much-reduced homelands, gaining knowledge about the bird and the grave threats to its breeding grounds and migration patterns. Her quest takes her to the muddy banks of the Mississippi, to an enormous and vulnerable roost on corporate ranchlands in southwest Florida, and to the remnant pinelands of Everglades National Park.

In seeking the bird, Cerulean comes to question her own place in our consumerist society. “My journeys after kites have led me to understand that the power of our longings is placing the integrity of life on our tender emerald planet so greatly at risk,” she writes. “What are the fractured places in our hearts and minds and spirits that have allowed us to stand by and watch, and even to participate in, the destruction of so much of life?”

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Susan Cerulean is the director of the Red Hills Writers Project in Tallahassee, Florida, and coeditor of "Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf." She is also the author of "Florida Wildlife Viewing Guide," editor of "The Book of the Everglades," and coeditor of "Guide to the Great Florida Birding Trail: East Section" and "The Wild Heart of Florida."

Review:

Here is a book as lovely as the bird it follows: a pleasure from beginning to end. Even more so, Tracking Desire is a vivid, embodied, unflinching look at the consequences of our lives and a prayer for the emancipation of the human spirit. The pages contain so much―a kind of translation of the holy, as if embroidered with gold thread―that I expect them to go flying off into their own heavens. Here is modern mythology, beautifully written. With this work, Susan Cerulean takes her well-earned place among the country's beloved nature writers.

(Janisse Ray author of Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home)

One can search the breadth of North America, the tropics, and beyond seeking birds, and never find any species more spectacular than the swallow-tailed kite. Returned to Florida after a decade and a half in the West, I am now privileged to see swallow-tailed kites on an almost daily basis during their breeding season―even in my own backyard! I can only hope this experience will continue. Susan Cerulean has captured the essence of this most graceful of birds in Tracking Desire, a beautifully written and intensely personal testimony to reawakened wonder and wildness. Let us hope this book will stimulate redoubled efforts to protect and restore this vanishing, feathered treasure.

(Reed F. Noss author of Saving Nature’s Legacy)

On delicate wings, Susan Cerulean lifts us toward the mystery of who we are, we human beings, and where we belong in this world of winged and rooted things. As she seeks an intimate connection with her beloved, imperiled swallow-tailed kites, she reminds us of the essential connections between science and spirit, landscape and stories, short-term decisions and the long-term survival of the natural systems that sustain us. This is rare and wonderful nature writing.

(Kathleen Dean Moore author of Riverwalking and The Pine Island Paradox)

A beautiful collection of interconnected essays, often personal, always accessible . . . there are passages in Tracking Desire that are surprising, unexpected, and brilliant. . . . Cerulean's words are poetry even among scientific study . . . Both knowledge and wisdom―their own necessary beauty―are the welcome gifts of Tracking Desire.

(Terrain.org)

An honest book, finely written . . . Her narrative―from the obsessive pursuit of kites to a cry against human destruction of other forms of life―is a deeply personal journey. It is also the author's attempt to 'dive for spirit, the invisible river of being that connects us all at one time, all the time.'

(Audubon)

Cerulean's message, however, is more complex, deeper than a mere recitation of the harm inflicted on our environment and the other species that inhabit it. There is a spiritual dimension to this lyrical book, an invitation to readers to examine our own passions and our own connections and discover what time spent with wildlife might restore to us.

(Tallahassee Democrat)

Cerulean's account moves as fluidly as a kite in flight―the birds are in constant motion―and weaves science, family history and interior musings that blend the fabric of her life with the fabric of the kite's life history.

(Ledger)

In a lovely series of essays, Cerulean explores the hunger for intimacy, the unnameable longing, that can cause the connection with nature that she found with the kite but can also cause the destruction of the very thing one desires. . . . This lyrical book belongs in all libraries where readers demand environmental writing.

(Booklist)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 24.95
US$ 39.34

Convert Currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Susan Cerulean
Published by University of Georgia Press, United States (2005)
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Georgia Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. It took just one sighting of a swallow-tailed kite to dispatch Susan Cerulean on a pilgrimage through its fragmented and ever-shrinking habitats. In Tracking Desire, Cerulean immerses us in the natural history and biology of Elanoides forficatus. At the same time, she sifts through her past - as a child, student, biologist, parent, and activist - to muse on a lifelong absorption with nature. Once at home throughout much of the eastern United States, the swallow-tailed kite is now seldom seen. With ornithologist Ken Meyer, and then on her own, Cerulean roams the kite s much-reduced homelands, gaining knowledge about the bird and the grave threats to its breeding grounds and migration patterns. Her quest takes her to the muddy banks of the Mississippi, to an enormous and vulnerable roost on corporate ranchlands in southwest Florida, and to the remnant pinelands of Everglades National Park. In seeking the bird, Cerulean comes to question her own place in our consumerist society. My journeys after kites have led me to understand that the power of our longings is placing the integrity of life on our tender emerald planet so greatly at risk, she writes. What are the fractured places in our hearts and minds and spirits that have allowed us to stand by and watch, and even to participate in, the destruction of so much of life?. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780820326979

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 39.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Susan Cerulean
Published by University of Georgia Press, United States (2005)
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Georgia Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It took just one sighting of a swallow-tailed kite to dispatch Susan Cerulean on a pilgrimage through its fragmented and ever-shrinking habitats. In Tracking Desire, Cerulean immerses us in the natural history and biology of Elanoides forficatus. At the same time, she sifts through her past - as a child, student, biologist, parent, and activist - to muse on a lifelong absorption with nature. Once at home throughout much of the eastern United States, the swallow-tailed kite is now seldom seen. With ornithologist Ken Meyer, and then on her own, Cerulean roams the kite s much-reduced homelands, gaining knowledge about the bird and the grave threats to its breeding grounds and migration patterns. Her quest takes her to the muddy banks of the Mississippi, to an enormous and vulnerable roost on corporate ranchlands in southwest Florida, and to the remnant pinelands of Everglades National Park. In seeking the bird, Cerulean comes to question her own place in our consumerist society. My journeys after kites have led me to understand that the power of our longings is placing the integrity of life on our tender emerald planet so greatly at risk, she writes. What are the fractured places in our hearts and minds and spirits that have allowed us to stand by and watch, and even to participate in, the destruction of so much of life?. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780820326979

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 43.40
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Susan Cerulean
Published by Univ of Georgia Pr (2005)
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Univ of Georgia Pr, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st ed. edition. 192 pages. 8.50x5.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0820326976

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 35.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.05
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Susan Cerulean
Published by University of Georgia Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Georgia Press, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Prudence Carter (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0820326976

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 47.14
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Cerulean, Susan
Published by University of Georgia Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Georgia Press, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110820326976

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 53.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Cerulean, Susan
Published by University of Georgia Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Georgia Press, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0820326976

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 53.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Cerulean, Susan
Published by University of Georgia Press
ISBN 10: 0820326976 ISBN 13: 9780820326979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Georgia Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0820326976 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1352166

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 92.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds