Bright Stars, Dark Trees, Clear Water: Nature Writings from North of the Border

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Wayne Grady
David R. Godine Publisher, 1999 - Nature - 309 pages
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This Marvelous Anthology gathers writers from the United States, Canada, and Europe to provide the best collection of North American nature writing ever put between covers. This is a vast canvas, but Wayne Grady covers it splendidly, from Pehr Kalm's "Travels in North America" (1753) to Gretel Ehrlich's moving essay about her encounters with seals in the frozen wastelands of the Arctic Circle (1992). It combines pieces by well-known and much beloved writers (such as Audubon, Seton, Thoreau, Matthiessen, and Peterson) with lesser known texts by writers whose work will come as revelations.

Here is a geographic diversity that ranges from Henry Beston's lyrical description of bird lift on the St. Lawrence to Barry Lopez's account of Banks Island in the Arctic. While nothing can replace the great books from which these excerpts were culled, these thirty-seven selections (often full chapters or extended passages) comprise the very best anthology of nature writing that has ever been assembled about Canada and the Arctic regions. These are writers who all felt the call of the wild, and who wrote about their experiences with passion for the land, compassion for its inhabitants, and a genuine sense of wonder -- and often humor -- that make for hours of fascinating reading.

 

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Contents

Pehr Kalm From Travels in North America 1753 i
8
John James Audubon From The Labrador Journal 1833
24
Catharine Parr Traill Notes From My Old Diary 1894
41
John Muir The Stickeen River 1904
63
John Burroughs The Halcyon in Canada 1907
78
Frederick Philip Grove Snow 1922
97
Chief Thunderchild A Winter of Hardship 1923
119
Grey Owl All Things Both Great and Small 1936
134
Margaret Murie Geese 1957
204
Peter Matthiessen Fur Countries and Forest Lakes 1959
211
Hugh MacLennan The Mackenzie 1961
221
Sigurd F Olson He a la Crosse 1961
230
Farley Mowat From Never Cry Wolf 1963
238
Franklin Russell The Island of Auks 1965
247
Barry Lopez Banks Island 1986
256
Lawrence From In Praise of Wolves 1986
265

Henry Beston Small Birds to the North 1942
148
Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Voluble Singer
167
Fred Bodsworth From The Last of the Curlews 1954
173
H Albert Hochbaum Patterns of Local Movement 1955
180
Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher Sea Cliffs
189
Roderick HaigBrown Place des Cygnes 1956
196
Harold Horwood Fire Dance 1982
276
Don Gayton The Grass and the Buffalo 1990
283
Merilyn Simonds Mohr Stubborn Particulars of Place 1991
290
Sean Virgo The Falcon 1991
297
Acknowledgments
310
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About the author (1999)

Wayne Grady was born in 1948 in Windsor, Ontario. He attended Carleton University where he earned a B.A. in English. He is a freelance magazine writer and author of several books. He is the former editor of Harrowsmith magazine. He has also translated several French novels into English. He has been shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and the Governor General's Award for Translation, for Black Squirrel, by Daniel Poliquin. He received the Governor General's Award for Translation, for On the Eighth Day, by Antoine Maillet and John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation, for Christopher Cartier of Hazelnut, by Antoine Maillet. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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