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July 22 , 2008


Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land


Janisse Ray, award-winning author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Wild Card Quilt, writes an evocative paean to wildness and wilderness restoration with an extraordinary journey into southern Georgia's Pinhook Swamp.

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Dis-moi, Muse, cet homme subtil qui erra si longtemps, après qu'il eut renversé la citadelle sacrée de Troie. Et il vit les cités de peuples nombreux, et il connut leur esprit ; et dans son coeur, il endura beaucoup de maux, sur la mer, pour sa propre vie et le retour de ses compagnons. Mais il ne les sauva point, contre son désir ; et ils…

Pinhook Swamp acts as a vital watershed and wildlife corridor, a link between the great southern wildernesses of Okefenokee Swamp and Osceola National Forest. Together Okefenokee, Osceola, and Pinhook form one of the largest expanse of protected wild land east of the Mississippi River. This is one of America's last truly wild places, and Pinhook takes us into its heart.

Ray comes to know Pinhook intimately as she joins the fight to protect it, spending the night in the swamp, tasting honey made from its flowers, tracking wildlife, and talking to others about their relationship with the swamp. Ray sees Pinhook through the eyes of the people who live there – naturalists, beekeepers, homesteaders, hunters, and locals at the country store. In lyrical, down-home prose, she draws together the swamp's need for restoration and the human desire for wholeness and wildness in our own lives and landscapes.

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