Late Migrations

Late Migrations

A Natural History of Love and Loss

eBook - 2019
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"Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents--her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father--and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child's transition to caregiver. And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds--the natural one and our own--"the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love's own twin."--From publisher.
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9781571319876
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Renkl, Billy
OverDrive, Inc

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Chapel_Hill_TimL Oct 08, 2019

As a fan of Margaret Renkl's weekly New York Times columns about the natural world, I was looking forward to getting my hands on this, her first collection of essays. It did not disappoint. The book toggles between the author's family history and her observations of the flora and fauna in her half-acre lot in Nashville, all in short, two to three-page pieces. Initially, I was partial to the nature essays, with their close attention to birds, arthropods, nests, weeds, and weather, but as the story of her family history unfolds, I found that thread equally compelling. Ultimately, the two themes intertwine, through her meditations on loss and her habit of close observation. As a friend and fellow enthusiast remarked, she is "the guru of paying attention."

b
beckyjane27
Aug 04, 2019

A book of short essays coupling stories about the author's family history with the wealth of wildlife in her own backyard. Somehow these stories begin to connect. Emotional and funny.

m
mazzydoon
Jul 21, 2019

I am well aware of and have personally seen “the bloodbath that is the natural world.” I do not understand, however, why someone who writes “oh to unsee” would time after time force the reader to see the very images that she wishes to unsee. By page 20 I had “seen” enough.

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