Earth at Our Doorstep: Contemporary Writers Celebrate the Landscapes of Home

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9780871563811: Earth at Our Doorstep: Contemporary Writers Celebrate the Landscapes of Home

Like the best of love stories, these essays are quietly instructive.... They help us watch the slow things, to celebrate the perennials that return and to mourn the migrating birds that do not. They remind us of what fragile and enduring gifts we have been given, and how temporary is our sojourn among them. And finally, they move us to consider and to tend to our own homes -- to the land they rest on, and to the selves that reside in their many rooms.

from the Introduction to The Earth at Our Doorstep

With loving attention to the physical and spiritual dimensions of their own home ground, twenty-six contemporary writers explore the intricate relationships they have built with the places in which they live. These eloquent essays honor a rich variety of locales: from the city of Oakland to a remote Wyoming ridgetop, from the snowbound Adirondacks to the rainy cliffs of Maui, from a farm in the heart of the Midwest to an island in Puget Sound. Whether written about the author's birthplace or a newly found shelter in unfamiliar territory, each of these pieces celebrates the places we cherish as home.

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Review:

Focusing on home turf, 26 very different writers meditate upon nature as it appears nearby in the short essays in this small but potent collection. Poets Gary Snyder and W.S. Merwin appear, Snyder writing about the Sierra watershed, Merwin celebrating his life in Hawaii. The approach of the collection, with attention on the "Landscapes of Home," doesn't mean nature has to be wilderness: Novelist Pam Houston writes about Oakland, and essayist Andrei Codrescu offers a lively rumination on the urban landscape of New Orleans.

From Library Journal:

In The Earth at Our Doorstep, contemporary writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction describe what "home" means to them. Seventeen of the 22 essays here were originally published between 1991 and 1995 in a Sierra magazine column edited by Stine. Stine's authors include W.S. Merwin, Kathleen Norris, Nancy Lord, Pam Houston, and Gary Snyder. In "A Grounded Life," for example, Reynolds Price describes the feeling of rootedness he has found from living in the same house on the edge of a woods near Durham, North Carolina, for 30 years. The authors are concerned with the encroachment of civilization on the natural world and with how they can be in tune with the places where they live without destroying them. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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