About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 14, 2011 - Nature - 288 pages
2 Reviews
The acclaimed National Book Award winner gives us a collection of spellbinding new essays that, read together, form a jigsaw-puzzle portrait of an extraordinary man.

With the publication of his best-selling Of Wolves and Men, and with the astonishing originality of Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez established himself as that rare writer whose every book is an event, for both critics and his devoted readership. Now, in About This Life, he takes us on a literal and figurative journey across the terrain of autobiography, assembling essays of great wisdom and insight. Here is far-flung travel (the beauty of remote Hokkaido Island, the over-explored Galápagos, enigmatic Bonaire); a naturalist's contention (Why does our society inevitably strip political power from people with intimate knowledge of the land small-scale farmers, Native Americans, Eskimos, cowboys?); and pure adventure (a dizzying series of around-the-world journeys with air freight everything from penguins to pianos). And here, too, are seven exquisite memory pieces hauntingly lyrical yet unsentimental recollections that represent Lopez's most personal work to date, and which will be read as classics of the personal essay for years to come.

In writing about nature and people from around the world, by exploring the questions of our age, and, above all, by sharing a new openness about himself, Barry Lopez gives us a book that is at once vastly erudite yet intimate: a magically written and provocative work by a major American writer at the top of his form.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bell7 - LibraryThing

This collection of seventeen essays runs the gamut of both topics and places, with subjects as diverse as taking rides with cargo planes to see how consumer items travel from country to country, to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mrminjares - LibraryThing

A collection of essays. I didn't like most. The ones I did like were on airplane travel, firing of ceramics, and a few short essays toward the end .. one about a woman he doesn't know who asks him to ... Read full review

Contents

IntroductionA VOICE
PART ONE
1SEARCHING FOR DEPTH IN BONAIRE
2A SHORT PASSAGE IN NORTHERN HOKKAIDO
3ORCHIDS ON THE VOLCANOES
4INFORMED BY INDIFFERENCE
5FLIGHT
PART TWO
PART THREE
11REPLACING MEMORY
12A PASSAGE OF THE HANDS
13LEARNING TO SEE
PART FOUR
14DEATH
15MURDER
16SPEED

6APOLOGIA
7IN A COUNTRY OF LIGHT AMONG ANIMALS
8THE AMERICAN GEOGRAPHIES
THE STROKE OF FIRE
10THE WHALEBOAT
17THEFT
Acknowledgments
TEXT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ALSO BY BARRY LOPEZ
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Barry Lopez is the author of four works of nonfiction, including Arctic Dreams and Of Wolves and Men; seven works of fiction, including Field Notes and Winter Count; and a novella-length fable, Crow and Weasel. His work appears regularly in Harper's, where he is a contributing editor, as well as in The Paris Review, Orion, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award for nonfiction, he lives in western Oregon.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information