A Handmade Wilderness

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997 - Nature - 304 pages
In 1968, at the height of the civil rights struggle, two young men - one black, the other white - quixotically decided to buy eighty backwoods acres in southern Mississippi, little realizing that they were embarking on the greatest adventure of their lives. Don Schueler's account of the twenty-five years that followed, during which he and Willie Brown transformed and enlarged their much-abused "least worst land" into a wild Eden, is a modern saga, by turns suspenseful, wildly funny, and deeply moving. Hostile poachers, woods fires, and a monster hurricane were just some of the challenges Don and Willie faced. And two-footed and four-footed neighbors such as Hovit, the one-eyed moonshiner; the Downstairs Armadillo; the Cogitating Deer; the boy who loved horses; and Fafnir, the alligator, were only a few of the memorable characters who enlivened and sometimes complicated their lives. But perhaps the most unforgettably realized presence is that of the land itself, Don and Willie's beloved Place, which they restored so successfully that in 1993 it became the Nature Conservancy's Willie Farrell Brown Reserve. A Handmade Wilderness is a different sort of back-to-the-land story, as inspiring as Living the Good Life and as entertaining as All Creatures Great and Small. Anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a place where he or she could live in harmony with the natural world will be enthralled by this celebration of two people's determination to make that dream come true.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

A HANDMADE WILDERNESS: Two Lives on a Broken Land

User Review  - Kirkus

The beautifully drawn and affecting story of Schueler's (The Temple of the Jaguar, 1993, etc.) efforts to reclaim a devastated piece of the sandhills of Mississippi. Schueler, a white man, and Willie ... Read full review

Contents

Finding it
1
Taking an inventory
9
Neighbors
19
Starting out
34
The track
51
The fence
55
The country night
68
Camille
79
Short Tail and Damn Thing
161
The cogitating deer
171
Putting things back
178
Fafhir
186
Coexisting
191
Schaeffers Hill
207
The boy who loved horses
213
A betrayal
223

A new beginning
87
The second house
89
The mystery bumper
99
The pond
102
An evening interlude 213
115
A morning with Hovit
120
The gopher
130
All livestock great and small
140
A damsel in distress
155
Subtractions and additions
233
The controlled burn
242
Luck runs out
249
The coven of crows
260
Afterwards
267
The reserve
272
Epilogue
283
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

DON SCHUELER is the author of four other books, including Temple of the Jaguar and Incident at Eagle Ranch. Formerly a professor of English at the University of New Orleans, he still lives at the Place in southern Mississippi and in New Orleans.

Bibliographic information