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This classic book of essays by Kim Stafford-praised as "the calm deliberations of a gracious intelligence" by Barry Lopez-is now available from Sasquatch Books.
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A collection of essays first published to critical acclaim in 1986, Having Everything Right revolves around the history, folklore, and physical beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Kim Stafford writes poetic and evocative prose as he reflects on such subjects as Indian place names, bears, and local eccentrics. An essay titled "Pine, Fir, Cedar, Yew," begins with Stafford describing his workbench, which he fashioned from scavenged boards, and slowly turns into a beautifully rendered meditation on wood. "Any table of virgin fir, any maple chair, any oak floor is a bundle of stories," Stafford writes, artfully pointing out what most of us would never take time to notice.Review:
The first of the thirteen essays that make up Having Everything Right ends with this simple sentence: "I turned to look." Turning to look is the generative act of this wonderful gathering of encounters with the natural and social worlds. Stafford subtitles his volume "Essays of Place , " and the place traversed and defined in it is nothing less than the locale of being human. The effort registered here is not only to understand, as Thoreau put it, where we live and what we live for but also to translate that compfehension into belonging: to achieve a connection with earth, time, history, and the universally common elements of human existence. Winner of a Western States Book Award, Having Everything Right places Stafford at the forefront of the renaissance in nature writing that is perhaps the most notable feature of contemporary American literature. While the novel resurrects itself through experimentation from its premature death, and while poetry struggles to achieve a significant post-modern mode, the genre of philosophical nature writing in the hands of such wizards as Annie Dillard, Wendel Berry, Edward Abbey, Diana KappclSmith, andjohn Nichols is finding new power and depth, new relevance in this high tech age. Stafford's essays in this tradition range from the direct exploration of "A Walk in Early May" to the abstract meditation of "Out of This World with Chaucer and the Astronauts," to the familial and social reflections of "The Great Depression as Heroic Age." Animating them all is the sense that there is joy in knowing the world-and the belief that true knowing brings, as Stafford says, "a change of heart." Stafford's accounts of trees and rivers, of history and work, of bears and barns, of local characters, family members, and himself are beautifully crafted. His prose is simple yet plump with right words and memorable phrases. Honest, unpretentious, touching, and profound, Having Everything Right is about as right as a book can be. -- From Independent Publisher
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Book Description Sasquatch Books, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111570610975