The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow: The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley

Overview

Long before environmental consciousness became popular, a young nature writer named Opal Whitely captured America's heart. Opal's childhood diary, published in 1902, became an immediate bestseller, one of the most talked-about books of its time. Wistful, funny, and wise, it was described by an admirer as "the revelation of the ...life of a feminine Peter Pan of the Oregon wilderness—so innocent, so intimate, so haunting, that I should not know where in all literature to ...

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Overview

Long before environmental consciousness became popular, a young nature writer named Opal Whitely captured America's heart. Opal's childhood diary, published in 1902, became an immediate bestseller, one of the most talked-about books of its time. Wistful, funny, and wise, it was described by an admirer as "the revelation of the ...life of a feminine Peter Pan of the Oregon wilderness—so innocent, so intimate, so haunting, that I should not know where in all literature to look for a counterpart."

But the diary soon fell into disgrace. Condemning it as an adult-written hoax, skeptics stirred a scandal that drove the book into obscurity and shattered the frail spirit of its author.

Discovering the diary by chance, bestselling author Benjamin Hoff set out to solve the longstanding mystery of its origin. His biography of Opal that accompanies the diary provides fascinating proof that the document is indeed authentic—the work of a magically gifted child, America's forgotten interpreter of nature.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140237207
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 997,040
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 7.71 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Opal Whiteley grew up in logging settlements near the town of Cottage Grove, at the southern end of Oregon's Willamette Valley. A child literary prodigy and acclaimed nature teacher, she is the author of The Fairyland Around Us, a self-published nature book for children (1918) and her bestselling childhood diary, The Story of Opal (1920).

Benjamin Hoff grew up in a rural area a few miles from Portland, Oregon—at the opposite end of the valley in which Opal Whiteley wrote her diary. As a child, he, like Opal, preferred to spend his time outdoors, observing animals, insects, and plants. From an early age, he, too, loved to write. He is tha author of the bestselling The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2001

    Inspiring

    I was introduced to Opal's world as a child and have loved her ever since. Her unique and lovable ways will force you to look at things from a different perspective. Opal grew up in an Oregon mining town with her parents. She goes to school in a one-room schoolhouse where she would listen not to her lessons, but those of the older children. She would hear English literature, Greek mythology, poetry, prose, and then would name all of her nature friends after those literary characters. William Shakespeare, the horse, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the cow with poetry in her tracks, and Solomon Grundy, a very dear pet pig. The legitimacy of this diary has been disputed, but whether or not it is authentic makes no difference to me. Opal's diary is delightful and I¿m sure you will love it as much as I do.

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