Author(s): David James Duncan
In this remarkable collection of essays, David James Duncan, award-winning author of The River Why, braids his contemplative, activist, and rhapsodic voices together into a potently distinctive whole, speaking with power and urgency about the vital connections between our water-filled bodies and this water-covered planet. The twenty-two essays in this collection swirl and eddy around the author's early-forged bond with the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and their endangered native salmon. With a bracing blend of story, logic, science, and humor, Duncan relates mystical, life-changing fishing adventures; draws incisive portraits of the humans and wild creatures who shaped his destiny; attacks the corporate greed and political folly that have brought whole ecosystems to ruin; and meditates on the spiritual and practical necessity of acknowledging our dependence on water in its primal state.
"There's an engaging coherence to Duncan's 22 angry, heartbroken, yet hopeful and often quite comic nature essays.... Sounding a clarion call to conservation activism, Duncan eloquently explains why clean, free running water matters: just as we die without good water, so does the earth. Yet his unabashed polemic is nicely cushioned by rhapsody; he's the ranter as poet."-Publishers Weekly "Refreshing as a glass of cold water on a scorching day.... Duncan invites, includes, intrigues, and inculcates his readers so that they will never think of the Pacific Northwest, salmon, Montana, or Nevada gold mines as they did before."-Library Journal "Original, skillful, and funny as hell."-Ian Frazier
David James Duncan, author of The River Why, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and has won a Montana Arts Council Award. He lives in Montana.
WONDER VERSUS LOSS 1. Valmiki's Palm 2. Birdwatching as a Blood Sport 3. The Non Sense of Place 4. Tilt 5. Who Owns the West?: Seven Wrong Answers 6. Six Henry Stories ACTIVISM 7. Native 8. Lake of the Stone Mother 9. The War for Norman's River 10. The 1872 Knee-Mining Act & Your Exciting Financial Future! 11. Beauty/Violence/Grief/Frenzy/Love: On the Contemplative Versus the Activist Life 12. A Prayer for the Salmon's Second Coming 13. River Soldiers 14. Strategic Withdrawal FISHING THE INSIDE PASSAGE 15. Idiot Joy 16. In Praise of No Guide 17. Estuary from an Afterlife 18. Fearless Leader 19. Khawaja Khadir 20. god 21. Spirit-Fried No-Name River Brown Trout: A Recipe Appendix: "The Lives of Tuan Mac Cairill" About the Photographs Acknowledgments