Ecology Of A Cracker Childhood [NOOK Book]

Overview

This is the award-winning story of a young girl growing up on a junkyard in southern Georgia, amid the disappearing longleaf pine forests of the southeastern United States. The author vividly details a childhood that included poverty, religious fundamentalism, and her father's mental illness, but that was also marked by a family's love, colorful characters, brilliance, and through it all, the peace and beauty of nature. In a singular and riveting structure, the book alternates between chapters of memoir and ...
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Ecology Of A Cracker Childhood

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Overview

This is the award-winning story of a young girl growing up on a junkyard in southern Georgia, amid the disappearing longleaf pine forests of the southeastern United States. The author vividly details a childhood that included poverty, religious fundamentalism, and her father's mental illness, but that was also marked by a family's love, colorful characters, brilliance, and through it all, the peace and beauty of nature. In a singular and riveting structure, the book alternates between chapters of memoir and chapters exploring the natural history of the region. The longleaf pine ecosystem is 99 percent gone, transformed into shopping malls, trailer parks, and pine plantations. You will fall in love with the junkyard and with the girl who calls it home, who seeks within it the solace and refuge of the natural world. You will find some of your own childhood within these pages. The book was published in 1999 by Milkweed Editions and has won many recognitions, including the New York Times's Notable Book.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Anne Raver
The forests of the southeast find their Rachel Carson.... In Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, part memoir, part clarion call to save the longleaf pine, she casts a loving but unflinching eye on growing up poor and fundamentalist in southeast Georgia.... Sometimes a book is so powerful, it holds its writer hostage.
New York Times Review of Books - Tony Horwitz
...her tale of growing up poor and white in backwoods Georgia is suffused with the same history-haunted sense of loss that imprints so much of the South and its literature. What sets Ecology of a Cracker Childhood apart is the ambitious and arresting mission implied in its title. Ray's lament for a lost landscape and a lost way of life centers on a South that has little to do with cotillions, columned mansions or cotton plantations.
Bloomsbury Review - John Murray
The gorgeously written Ecology of a Cracker Childhood combines memoir and nature writing in such a way as to take the reader there, to the longleaf pine forests of south Georgia before it was all logged away.
Orion - Amy Godine
More than her passion for the wilderness, her activism or her outrage, it is her capacity for wonder that wins us to her fervent environmentalism—a capacity born and bred, ironically, not in the college biology lab or the naturalist's notebook but in the brier patch of a junkyard adrift with car guts, old lawn mowers, broken glass.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940148450672
  • Publisher: Janisse Ray
  • Publication date: 8/12/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 293
  • Sales rank: 148,866
  • File size: 796 KB

Meet the Author

Writer, naturalist, and activist Janisse Ray is author of five books of literary nonfiction and a collection of poetry.

Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a memoir about growing up on a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast, was published by Milkweed Editions in 1999. Besides a plea to protect and restore the glorious pine flatwoods, the book is a hard look at family, mental illness, poverty, and fundamentalist religion. Essayist Wendell Berry called the book “well done and deeply moving.” Anne Raver of The New York Times said of Janisse, “The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson.”

Ray is also the author of Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home (about rural community); Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land (the success story of a 750,000-acre wildland between south Georgia and north Florida); A House of Branches: Poems; and Drifting Into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River.

Her most recent book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, is a look at gardens where heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables are being curated. The book was published August 2012.

Janisse has won many awards, including a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry 2011, Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction 1999, an American Book Award 2000, the Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award 2000. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read.

The author has been visiting professor at Coastal Carolina University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Keene State College, Green Mountain College, and the University of Mississippi.

Janisse lives on Red Earth Farm in southern Georgia, about 30 miles from her birthplace. She travels nationally lecturing on the environment, wildness, sustainability, sustainable economics, and the politics of wholeness. She teaches writing independently.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2012

    The state of Georgia has produced some of our most notable auth


    The state of Georgia has produced some of our most notable authors. Pat Conroy, Margaret Mitchell, Harry Crews, and Carson McCullers leap to mind. I just finished reading a book titled "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" written by southeast Georgia native Janisse Ray. Much more than an autobiography, "Ecology" invites readers unfamiliar with this lowland area of the country to appreciate its haunting yet resplendent landscapes, described in a literary voice empowered by authenticity, passion, and artistry. This is a must read.

    Harry Hughes, author of The Bait Shack and Horseshoes

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

    Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

    Descriptions burn a picture in your mind

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    Inspiring and Motivating

    This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. The author's sytle of writing is beautiful. The way in which she describes her surroundings gives you such a different perspective about the natural world and one's place in it. The only thing wrong with this book was that it was just too short!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2001

    Praise for Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

    Eugene Weekly, June 7, 2001: 'Ray uses simple language to render the human and ecological history that moves straight to one's astonished heart.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2001

    A tale of an endangered ecosystem

    I am not a native of the south, I was born and raised in the midwest. This book introduced me to the wonders of the long leaf pine forests of south Georgia. I am an environmental educator in Atlanta and this book inspired me and guides me everyday as I teach. I was blessed with the opportunity to meet Janisse Ray and found her to be one of the most 'real' people I have ever met. She has a passion for the land where she was raised; this evident not only in her writing but also when she speaks. I would reccommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2000

    I felt Like a Child Again

    ¿The Ecology of a Cracker Childhood¿ is a delightful book, beautifully written and filled with wisdom. Janisse Ray made me feel like a child again. What it is like to have a soul of a poet and live in a junkyard in rural Georgia with a family of fundamentalists. Her love for South Georgia¿s vanishing natural beauty and history is infectious. She beautifully illustrates, through the story of the long leaf pine, that in saving our ecosystem we save ourselves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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