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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Fear and love prompted this multiauthor collection of 30 short essays. The compilers, Alaskans both, grew fearful of the looming loss of wilderness values and crucial wildlife habitat on Alaska's Arctic shore, as the United States pondered whether to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. What to do? They invited their writer friends and mentors from around the nation to contribute original works in support of the land they loved. The result is a rich communal testimonial, intended to reach all who hold the power to determine the fate of this remote landscape and all the rest of us who might be moved to express our support for continued conservation.
The professions of the contributors range from wildlife biologists and regional activists to nationally known poets and writers -- and one former president, Jimmy Carter. Here you will find original writings by many of the most celebrated names in contemporary nature writing, in addition to names familiar only to those among us who live (or once lived, as did I) in this remote enclave of the world's most ostentatious and unrepentant consumer of natural resources. Fortunately, we have entered an era in which "resource talk" is not the only language allowed. Here you will find advocacy of the sacred values of this landscape -- as beautifully portrayed by an indigenous elder of the Gwich'in Nation (whose very culture depends on the continued migrations of caribou) and by many other contributors.
This is an unabashed work of advocacy and a good read. The renowned writers -- Barry Lopez, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Bill McKibbin, Rick Bass, Scott Russell Sanders -- are the draw. But this reader was most moved by the little-known writers whose love for Alaskan wildness is deepened by the choice they made to call it home. (Connie Barlow)