In this remarkable collection of essays, David James Duncan, award-winning author of The River Why, braids his contemplative, activist, and rhapsodic voices together into a potently distinctive whole, speaking with power and urgency about the vital connections between our water-filled bodies and this water-covered planet.
Confessions, Druidic rants, reflections, bird-watchings, fish-stalkings, visions, songs and prayers refracting light, from living rivers, in the age of the industrial dark.
The twenty-two essays in this collection swirl and eddy around the author's early-forged bond with the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and their endangered native salmon. With a bracing blend of story, logic, science, and humor, Duncan relates mystical, life-changing fishing adventures; draws incisive portraits of the humans and wild creatures who shaped his destiny; attacks the corporate greed and political folly that have brought whole ecosystems to ruin; and meditates on the spiritual and practical necessity of acknowledging our dependence on water in its primal state.
The Sierra Club is proud to announce that My Story As Told By Water has been nominated as a 2001 finalist in the Nonfiction category for the prestigious National Book Awards. Read the Sierra Club's news release on this topic (November 5, 2001).
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
"There's an engaging coherence to Duncan's 22 angry, heartbroken, yet hopeful and often quite comic nature essays. . . . Sounding a clarion call to conservation activism, Duncan eloquently explains why clean, free running water matters: just as we die without good water, so does the earth. Yet his unabashed polemic is nicely cushioned by rhapsody; he's the ranter as poet."
"Refreshing as a glass of cold water on a scorching day. . . . Duncan invites, includes, intrigues, and inculcates his readers so that they will never think of the Pacific Northwest, salmon, Montana, or Nevada gold mines as they did before."
"This book is the Desert Solitaire of water." --Jim Harrison
"Original, skillful, and funny as hell." --Ian Frazier
"My Story as told by Water is the real McCoy, vivid and important, full of urgent news about living on earth."
WONDER VERSUS LOSS
1. Valmiki's Palm
2. Birdwatching as a Blood Sport
3. The Non Sense of Place
5. Who Owns the West?: Seven Wrong Answers
6. Six Henry Stories
8. Lake of the Stone Mother
9. The War for Norman's River
10. The 1872 Knee-Mining Act & Your Exciting Financial Future!
11. Beauty/Violence/Grief/Frenzy/Love: On the Contemplative Versus the Activist Life
12. A Prayer for the Salmon's Second Coming
13. River Soldiers
14. Strategic Withdrawal
FISHING THE INSIDE PASSAGE
15. Idiot Joy
16. In Praise of No Guide
17. Estuary from an Afterlife
18. Fearless Leader
19. Khawaja Khadir
21. Spirit-Fried No-Name River Brown Trout: A Recipe
Appendix: "The Lives of Tuan Mac Cairill"
About the Photographs
Western States Award
National Book Award Finalist, 2001
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David James Duncan, author of The River Why, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and has won a Montana Arts Council Award. He lives in Montana.