A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World

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Warning: This is not your parents’ nature writing! A distinctly contemporary take on the genre, A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise features original essays by twenty gifted writers, all thirty and under, whose strong and diverse voices redefine nature writing for the twenty-first century.
Editor Bonnie Tsui’s cast of accomplished contributors wrestle with integrating nature into their lives while putting down roots—often in urban environments. Included here are the New ...
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Overview


Warning: This is not your parents’ nature writing! A distinctly contemporary take on the genre, A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise features original essays by twenty gifted writers, all thirty and under, whose strong and diverse voices redefine nature writing for the twenty-first century.
Editor Bonnie Tsui’s cast of accomplished contributors wrestle with integrating nature into their lives while putting down roots—often in urban environments. Included here are the New Yorker’s Andrea Walker on learning to hunt with her father; noted fishing author and painter James Prosek on the mythology and mystery of eels; writer Hugh Ryan on being taught how to pitch a tent by a six-foot drag queen at a Radical Faeries camp in Tennessee; poet Cecily Parks on reconciling her adventuress self with her fear of lightning; and African-American journalist Alex Kellogg on rethinking his ideas about race and identity on a visit to Kenya and Eritrea.
Brimming with insight and humor, A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise rewards us with new perspectives on personal identity in relation to nature, and on the impact of landscape and place on our lives.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former magazine editor Tsui asked 20 writers aged 30 and under to reflect on ways in which they have connected with nature, and in this collection presents their original, often humorous answers. In the essay that inspired the book's title, Tim Neville tells how he spent his senior year in high school living in a tent in his parents' suburban yard, imagining he was having a Thoreau-like experience. Some of the writers tried to emulate explorers of the past. Sam Moulton and three friends, for example, made a three-month-long canoe trip to the Arctic Circle with little know-how and ridiculously inappropriate supplies. Thoughts of Ernest Shackleton inspired Traci Joan Macnamara to take a disillusioning job at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Others fulfilled their need for nature in unlikely places-Adam Baer on an outdoor tennis court, Christine DeLucia in Massachusetts's Mount Auburn Cemetery, Liesl Schwabe in a Brooklyn, N.Y., greenmarket. No matter what the approach, all the essays are imaginative and unusual, harbingers of what we may expect from nature writing as the last truly wild places disappear, and people have to take nature wherever they can find it. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578051274
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Tsui, a former editor at Travel + Leisure, is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the Boston Globe. She also writes for National Geographic Adventurer, O: the Oprah Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications, and is the author of She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. Tsui lives in San Francisco.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     9
Introduction: The Planting of Place   Bonnie Tsui     13
Once Upon a Time in a Tent   Tim Neville     18
The End of Strawberries, the Beginning of Peaches   Liesl Schwabe     30
When We Were Kings   Tim Heffernan     42
Four Points   Andrea Walker     55
Sissies in the Wood   Hugh Ryan     68
Little Stick Land   Sam Moulton     85
On Keraunophobia   Cecily Parks     107
Putting In   Nathanael Johnson     123
A Place for All Seasons   Christine DeLucia     143
It's All Downhill from Here On Up   McKenzie Funk     158
The Road Already Taken   Nicole Davis     170
Eelian Thinking   James Prosek     187
Building Home   Jaime Gross     203
Trespassing   Jonathan Kiefer     212
God in the Cannery   Lilith Wood     223
Courting   Adam Baer     233
Eden and the Underworld   Traci Joan Macnamara     258
Immersion   Gregory Mone     271
Outside inAfrica   Alex P. Kellogg     281
Rifts   Anna Bahney     293
About the Contributors     303
About the Editor     311
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