About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory

About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory

by Barry Lopez
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About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory by Barry Lopez

The acclaimed National Book Award winner gives us a collection of spellbinding new essays that, read together, form a jigsaw-puzzle portrait of an extraordinary man.

With the publication of his best-selling Of Wolves and Men, and with the astonishing originality of Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez established himself as that rare writer whose every book is an event, for both critics and his devoted readership. Now, in About This Life, he takes us on a literal and figurative journey across the terrain of autobiography, assembling essays of great wisdom and insight. Here is far-flung travel (the beauty of remote Hokkaido Island, the over-explored Galápagos, enigmatic Bonaire); a naturalist's contention (Why does our society inevitably strip political power from people with intimate knowledge of the land small-scale farmers, Native Americans, Eskimos, cowboys?); and pure adventure (a dizzying series of around-the-world journeys with air freight everything from penguins to pianos). And here, too, are seven exquisite memory pieces hauntingly lyrical yet unsentimental recollections that represent Lopez's most personal work to date, and which will be read as classics of the personal essay for years to come.

In writing about nature and people from around the world, by exploring the questions of our age, and, above all, by sharing a new openness about himself, Barry Lopez gives us a book that is at once vastly erudite yet intimate: a magically written and provocative work by a major American writer at the top of his form.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679754473
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/1999
Pages: 273
Sales rank: 652,255
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Barry Lopez is the author of six works of nonfiction and eight works of fiction. His writing appears regularly in Harper's, The Paris Review, DoubleTake, and The Georgia Review. He is the recipient of a National Book Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and other honors. He lives in western Oregon.

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About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T-T I miss Leafclan....I wish I never became grounded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first cat l met when l darted into the LeafClan camp was Shadowkit. He was a rather dramatic kit. But he was my friend...<br>"Get out of my way!" He wailed, scrambling around me. <Br>"Wha... Wait! Where are you going?" I meowed, sprinting after him. <br>"The ravine! I'm going to jump off of it!"<br>"What?! Why!"<br>"I have no friends! Nobody likes me!" At that point, l was thoroughly confused as l ran after him. "Wait! I'll be your friend!" <br>Shadowkit whipped around and stared at me. "Really?"<br>"Yeah...sure...My name's Wispkit."<br>Once we were back to camp and his suicidal attempt was sorted out, l grew very shy and nervous. The place was full of other cats, and not even Shadowkit was in sight. I darted directly under the paws of Spotheart, who later became my mentor and father figure.<br>"Whoa! Where'd you come from..."<br>"l..."<br>At that moment, Dawnstar appeared with Leafwing on her heels. <Br>"Leafwing, l&ndash; Spotheart, who is that?" Dawnstar peered down at me and back at her mate, searching for an answer.<br>"l'm not sure, she came out of no where."<br>Leafwing tapped Dawnstar's shoulder. "Can l take care of her? Can l take care of the kit?" <Br>Dawnstar hshed her and looked down at me again. "What's your name?" <br>"Wispkit..." I murmured quietly.<br>"Leafwing, l suppose you could take care of her... Take her to the nursery with the other kits."<br>Leafwing nodded and gently carried me to the nursery, where l met my best friends and Wildheart for the first time. I can only describe Wildheart, Dawnstar, and Leafwing as the sweetest and most wonderful mothers anykit could hope for. I would give anything to speak to them again, if only for five minutes. <br>I was still nervous, and l studied the nursery carefully. Not counting myself and Shadowkit, who wasn't there at the moment, there was seven kits in all. Three of them were my brother and sisters; Truekit, Sharpkit, and Dovekit. Not biological, of course, but we all had a bond stronger than kinship. The other four were Leafwinng's actual kits, but they died of greencough before l got to know them.<br>"Hello!" Dovekit crowed. She was always the outgoing one. "I'm Dovekit, this is my brother, Sharpkit, and that's Truekit!" She gestured to the two others, who nodded politely and went about their buisness. <p>[All of this story is true; and the rest of it as well. LeafClan was the single best Clan l have ever been in, and l miss all my friends dearly. I felt that someone should write a story about the wonderful Clan that is was. This was all over a year ago; l'm surprised how much l remember. ~Wispleap]