All the Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswomen's Notebook

All the Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswomen's Notebook

by Gretchen Legler
All the Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswomen's Notebook

All the Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswomen's Notebook

by Gretchen Legler


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All the Powerful Invisible Things is an eloquent memoir of self-discovery and a chronicle of outdoor life. Refusing “impoverished ideas of passion,” Gretchen Legler writes about the complexities of being a woman who fishes and hunts, as well as about the more intimate terrain of family and sexuality. The result is a unique literary confluence filled with the ineffable graces of the natural world.

She writes: “I used to hate being a woman. When I was young, I believed I was a boy. Throughout college I never knew what it was like to touch a woman, to kiss a woman, to have a woman as a friend. All of my friends were men. I am thirty years old now, and I feel alone. I am not a man. Knowing this is like an earthquake. Just now all the lies are starting to unfold. I don’t blend in as well or as easily as I used to. I refuse to stay on either side of the line.”

Like many women, Legler finds that her presence identifies the unmarked boundaries of where she is and is not welcome, learning when it is advantageous to pass as male and when it is better to disappear into the woods and trees around her. This contrasts sharply with her experience of nature as a source of spiritual sustenance, a space of unparalleled freedom where she can lose herself in something larger.

Twenty-five years after it was first published, All the Powerful Invisible Things remains a highwater mark for women writing about the outdoors and is one of the few works to tackle the intricacies of gender identity and sexuality with transcendental aplomb.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595349415
Publisher: Trinity University Press
Publication date: 04/20/2021
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Gretchen Legler is the author of On the Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station Antarctica and All The Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman’s Notebook, which received two Pushcart Prizes. She is a professor of creative writing at the Universityof Maine at Farmington and recently received a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. She lives in Farmington.

Table of Contents

Border Water 3

Grouse 15

Wolf 17

Gooseberry Marsh, Part One 27

Wildflowers 29

Gabimichigami 35

Beautiful Land 37

Plum Tree 53

Northern Heart 57

Puerto Penasco 61

Garden 71

Gooseberry Marsh, Part Two 75

Mushrooms 87

Horned Doe 89

Cold 101

Fishergirl 105

Owl at Night, Owl in the Morning 131

Basic Lifesaving 135

Blueberries 151

Lake One, Lake Two, Lake Three, Lake Four 155

This River at Night 177

All the Powerful Invisible Things 179

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