Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. 8-11

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Prologue

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pp. 1-4

The southern continents, its meaty flanks. The oceans, its shifting faces. Rivers, veins. Dunes, its soft teats. Like you, it breathes, sighs clouds from steaming rivers, exhales oxygen from the rain forests that gird its distended belly like dispersed lungs. Each ...

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Part I - Destino

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pp. 5-61

The map of Salvador that I look at now is unrecognizable, in black and white; Xeroxed from some tourist brochure, it covers two pages, 8 1/2 by 11 inches each. I will tape it together in the middle, trying to make a whole, but even then the image will be ...

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Part II - Salvador

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pp. 63-120

Long before I saw the rain forest, its mist-draped banks, its canopy-like green clouds; long before I knew its distinctive scent—a smoky mix of tea and loam, mulch and bog and blossoms; before I stepped from a low dugout canoe onto its soft bank and felt the earth give beneath my feet like ...

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Part III - Amazons

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pp. 121-183

Some halfway up the Amazon River in the tropical moist forests of the Brazilian Amazon is the capitol city of Manaus. It has been more than twenty years since I lived there, and a great deal has changed, but then as now Manaus was a kind of urban mirage. A construct of myth as much as of stone, ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 184-187

Flying into Manaus—the largest city in the Amazon—twenty years after I first visited the rain forest, I was thinking about Manhattan, the city where my father’s family lives and which feels to me like my true home, maybe because the city’s messy restless yearning feels so like my own, or because ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 189-190

I would like to thank Clair Willcox at the University of Missouri Press for his insightful editing, admirable patience, and for giving this book a second chance; the wonderful writer S. L. Wisenberg read this manuscript with generosity and tremendous acuity and gave me the greatest gift a writer could ...