Thursday, November 03, 2011

Top 10 wilderness books

Philip Connors was born in Iowa and grew up on a farm in southwest Minnesota. He attended the University of Montana, and then worked for several years at the Wall Street Journal, mostly as an editor on the Leisure & Arts page. In 2002, he left the paper for a seasonal job with the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico. His writing has appeared in n+1, Harper's, the London Review of Books, The Nation, and elsewhere. His "Diary of a Fire Lookout," which first appeared in the Paris Review, was selected for inclusion in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 and became the basis for his first book, Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout.

"Wilderness in its purest sense may be gone," Connors wrote in the Guardian, "but wild remnants remain, and many of my favourite books in the genre celebrate a particular place (often in America), cherishing what is native and mourning what's been lost."

One of his top ten wilderness books:
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

While not a "wilderness book" per se, this novel makes the outdoor world of the northern Rockies as much a character as the unforgettable sisters at its heart, whose hometown "was chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere."
Read about another novel on the list.

Housekeeping is among Kate Walbert's best books and Aryn Kyle's favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue