Rock, Water, Wild

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Rock, Water, Wild

An Alaskan Life

Nancy Lord

248 pages

Hardcover

September 2009

978-0-8032-2515-2

$24.95 Add to Cart
Paperback

May 2012

978-0-8032-4000-1

$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2009

978-0-8032-2609-8

$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

For Nancy Lord, what began as a yearning for adventure and a childhood fascination with a wild and distant land culminated in a move to Alaska in the early 1970s. Here she discovered the last place in America “big and wild enough to hold the intact landscapes and the dreams that are so absent today from almost everywhere else.” In Rock, Water, Wild, Lord takes readers along as she journeys among salmon, sea lions, geese, moose, bears, glaciers, and indigenous languages and ultimately into a new understanding, beyond geographic borders, of our intricate and intimate connections to the natural world.
 
Vast and beautiful, and much more than a mere place, Alaska is nonetheless inescapably a land of natural extremes and exquisite subtleties. In Lord’s explorations, “the country” of Alaska evokes reflections on the importance of place and space in our lives; arguments over roads carved in the wilderness; musings on the role of location and landscape in the Dena’ina Athabascan language; accounts of sport fishing in the Russian Far East in the first days of perestroika and of climbing in the Arrigetch Peaks of Alaska’s Brooks Range; and considerations of the politics of whaling. In the tradition of naturalists John Muir and John Burroughs, Lord proves an excellent guide to the challenges and pleasures of making oneself at home on this Earth.

Author Bio

Nancy Lord is Alaska’s writer laureate and a Pushcart Prize–winning author. Her previous acclaimed books include Fishcamp, Green Alaska, The Man Who Swam with Beavers, and Beluga Days.

Praise

“Nancy Lord says that for her, living and writing are stones that she turns over and over in her hands, all through her thinking life. For me, her books have been bright reflections from those well-polished stones—clear messages from a life lived well, out of doors, in the North. . . . . You will read this book with pleasure and wonder—and afterward, the world will be a larger, better place.”—Robert Michael Pyle, author of Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place

“Throughout this collection, Lord brings to each image, each sentence, the sharpness of seeing with love, as did Muir and Burroughs before her. . . . How we live our lives matters—to us, to our community, to wild creatures and to the world. This book matters too—for its vision, its fascinating perspectives, its good sense, its powerful and evocative prose.”—Peggy Shumaker, author of Just Breathe Normally

"In Rock, Water, Wild, Lord takes readers along as she journeys among salmon, sea lions, geese, moose, bears, glaciers, and indigenous languages and ultimately into a new understanding, beyond geographic borders, of our intricate and intimate connections to the natural world."—Sandy Amazeen, MonstersAndCritics.com

"These essays connect like the webs of a fishing net, linked by the writer's belief in a 'right place,' a place where lives can find their true shapes. Luckily, Lord has found hers."—Michael Engelhard, High Country News

“[Nancy Lord] brings an impressive awareness to this collection of essays . . . . The author patiently waits for the landscape and its many stories to reveal themselves to her. Lord is also politically adept and sensitive. . . . She closes with an ample display of her writing chops, allowing readers to take her measure as a well-rounded person—a baseball fan, the daughter of a father with Alzheimer’s, and a believer in the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker, confided in a lovely staccato piece as jumpy as the bird’s alleged sighting. A protective love story of a place of vast, otherworldly beauty.”—Kirkus Reviews


"Rock, Water, Wild is the perfect book for anyone (resident, government official, historian, or tourist) who wishes to be carried into the heart of Alaska's perpetual struggle with itself."—Ray Hudson, Alaska History

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
On the Way
      Being Peter
      On Rereading Siddartha
      In the Giant's Hand
In the Country
      Words Honor Place
      Zen Moose
      Honk
      Quiet Time
      The Hidden Half
      How to Bear Witness
      Report from the Rookeries
      The Farthest Island
      A Border Runs Through It
      The Conservationist as Wood Chopper
      The Experiment
      My Apologia
      In Our Time
Out and Beyond
      Magadan Luck
      The Rings
      Encounters with the Old Naturalist
      A Bigger World
      The Nature of Fakery
      From an Old World Sea
      Hope Is the Thing in Spring
      I Met a Man Who Has Seen the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and This Is What He Told Me
      Enough

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