In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

3 6 0 WAL 3 4 .3 FALL 1999 happy to chance upon her book The Edges of the Civilized World, which in part uses her Monarch poem sequence to explore nature through the worlds of science and art. That’s what good anthologies do. They bring us the world— then send us out into other books. Qreen Alaska: Dreams from the Far Coast. By Nancy Lord. W ashington, D .C .: C oun terpoint, 1999. 170 pages, $22.00. Reviewed by Eric Heyne University of Alaska Fairbanks In 1899 one of the richest men in America was ordered by his doctor to take a vacation. Edward Harriman decided to turn that vacation into a quasi-scientific expedition up the coast of Alaska, and he invited along some thirty scientists, artists, and engineers, including John Burroughs, John Muir, George Bird Grinnell, Edward Curtis, and William Dali. Almost one hundred years later Nancy Lord retraced a portion of that trip, from Homer on the Kenai Peninsula out to where the Alaska Peninsula fragments into the Aleutian Islands. As she traveled along the rugged, empty coast in a fish tender, she read “In Green Alaska,” Burroughs’s semiofficial account of the Harriman expedition. The meditations that resulted from Lord’s voyage in space and time are lyrical and sound. This woman who is “in awe of the men who truly navigated this coast and the technology that allows such a fraud as I to sit in a captain’s chair” is a deft pilot when it comes to navi­ gating the deep waters of Alaskan human and natural history (84). The voice of Green Alaska will be familiar to readers of last year’s Fish Camp; Lord is open, direct, informed without ever being pedantic, and always willing to offer her own fears and mistakes as evidence of what a trickster this life can be. Whereas Fish Cam]) focused on the present, how­ ever, Green Alaska is mostly about history, about the changes that have taken place in the country and in ourselves over the last century. There are plenty of vivid and beautiful descriptions of birds, porpoises, bears, and rocky coastlines. But this book is really about the past, or rather about change, how the past becomes the present. Most interesting to me are the ways in which Alaskan natural resources—including bears, salmon, and the rights of Alaska Natives (if the last can be thought of as a resource)—have increased since Burroughs’s day, rather than decreased. Not all changes have been for the worse; there is some evidence for hope here, a few signs that we have been making some intelligent decisions. The personality of John Burroughs is very important, as Lord tries to understand this stay-at-home Easterner who was lured out to the Wild West. She is sometimes frustrated by him, as when she reads his account of Book Review s 361 a Prince William Sound salmon cannery: “I will him to see the larger waste, the abuse of an entire resource. I will him to outrage. He is blind to it, or merely reticent; perhaps, again, as a guest of Harriman’s and here, of the cannery’s management, he is reluctant to criticize” (79). But she is never unfair. In choosing this once popular but now relatively neglected writer for her guide, she gives us a fascinating dual perspective on Alaska, a kind of stereopticon or 3-D view, allowing us to see both the big picture and the light that is right there in front of our eyes. Hunting for Hope: A Father's Journey. By Scott Russell Sanders. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998. 200 pages, $23.00. Reviewed by Erin Edwards U tah State University, Logan In his book Hunting for Hope, Scott Russell Sanders sorts through the chaos of destruction that is plaguing the world and unearths a paradigm that allows him to find order within the chaos. Hope. The book chronicles a year, which starts with Sanders and his son, Jessie, in the Rockies on a snowshoeing trip and ends with them warming by a fire on a drizzly evening in the Smoky Mountains. As Sanders and his son drive deep...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 360-361
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.