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For Educators


Sick of Nature
David Gessner




Dartmouth College Press
2004 • 248 pp. 6 x 9"
Nature / Memoir

$18.95 Paperback, 978-1-58465-464-3



"Comical, energetic, and reverentially irreverent . . . Gessner's literary voice in this book is something new, something different . . . In particular, he argues for - and then gleefully demonstrates—the enlivening contribution of farce and other modes of narrative in the field of nature writing . . . More like a gulp of laughing gas than the standard breath of fresh air."—Orion Magazine

Essays that trace the making of a reluctant nature writer.

David Gessner’s Return of the Osprey is "among the classics of American nature writing," said the Boston Globe. So why does this critically acclaimed nature writer now declare himself to be "sick of nature"?

In diverse, diverting, and frequently hilarious essays, Gessner wrestles with father figures both biological and literary, reflects on the pleasures and absurdities of the writing life, explores the significance of place for both his work and his sense of well-being, and rails at the confines of the nature genre even as he continues to find fresh inspiration for his writing in the natural world. In the end, he learns to embrace—or at least tolerate—the label he once rejected.

Whether kicking at the limits of his category or explaining why he was fired from his job as a bookstore clerk; whether recalling his youthful obsession with Ultimate Frisbee or recounting an adventure in the jungles of Belize; whether lampooning his own writerly envy of Sebastian Junger or raging at the over-development of Cape Cod or searching for solace in nature in the wake of September 11, Gessner ranges from the personal to the natural in lyrical reflections on writing, self, and society.

In a powerful concluding essay, Gessner moves from the arrival of coyotes in the suburbs of Boston to the birth of his first child in an extended meditation on his characteristic themes of wildness, place, and creativity.

David Gessner has his own web site. You may visit it here.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews:

"The book reads like a novel and reaches a satisfying conclusion as Gessner matures from a wild adolescent to a seasoned professor. His humor, irreverence, raw honesty, and passion make him reminiscent of Edward Abbey, and, like that writer, he leaves you with plenty to ponder. Highly recommended"—Library Journal

“Here is an environmental read with irreverent laughter and attentive awe both.”—Virginia Quarterly Review

"Eschewing expectations turns out to be one of Gessner's favorite pastimes, as he exuberantly demonstrates throughout Sick of Nature . . . Anyone who can capture in words the quiet joy of rocking an infant as well as the boldness of an osprey's plunge to the sea is a unique voice, well worth reading even if you're not the least bit sick of birds and trees."—Audubon Naturalist News

Endorsements:

"As self-conscious as Eggers, but deeper. As funny as Sedaris, but smarter. Our best writer of creative nonfiction period." —Mark Spitzer, author of Bottom Feeder



Author Photo

DAVID GESSNER is author of A Wild, Rank Place (UPNE, 1997), Under the Devil’s Thumb (1999) and Return of the Osprey: A Season of Flight and Wonder (2001), which was a selection of the Book of the Month Club and named one of the top ten nonfiction titles of 2001 by the Boston Globe. He has taught environmental writing at Harvard University and is currently an assistant professor in the creative writing program at University of North Carolina Wilmington.






Wed, 5 Nov 2014 15:22:05 -0500