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Stepping Westward: The Long Search for Home in the Pacific Northwest

Stepping Westward: The Long Search for Home in the Pacific Northwest

by Sallie Tisdale

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tisdale ( Sorcerer's Appentice ) here conducts a familiar survey of human interference in paradise. The object of her critique is her beloved Pacific Northwest, a region encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho and part of Northern California. Tisdale honors what was and rails at what is. Pitted as foes are nature--giant Douglas firs, sea otters, beavers, octopus and salmon, volcanic peaks and desert coulees--and humans--whose abuses include logging and deforestation, diminishment of wildlife, and efforts to dam up streams. Tisdale is best in short bursts, as when she sizes up an Idaho potato magnate or takes a trip to the timber town of Forks, Wash. Though vividly written, the book is impressionistic in design, which can dilute an otherwise strong message. First serial to the New Yorker. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The verdant landscape of the Pacific Northwest often provokes an equally exuberant prose style from writers who live and work there. Oregon author Tisdale is no exception. With a rambling, sometimes chaotic lushness, she combines natural and social history with her own personal narrative to present an intimate yet informative regional biography of the Northwest. Tisdale recounts the almost overwhelming fecundity of plant and animal life, the devastating effects of clear-cut logging operations, and the lethal zeal of 19th-century Anglo missionaries trying to convert an unwilling indigenous population. Whether traveling through ancient forests where the trees are ``indecently large'' or to a lake so beautiful it should be renamed ``Lake Implausible,'' she maintains an infectious and never-ending sense of wonder. Although her connections between the personal and the cosmic are sometimes tenuous, Tisdale has produced a loving, literate work that Northwest libraries will certainly want to add to their collections. Other, larger libraries may find this a helpful introduction to the area as well.-- Jeffrey Ingram, Newport P.L., Ore.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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