My Life in the Appalachian Woods
Trim size: 5.500in x 9.000in
Pub Date: 09/01/2006
List Price: $21.95
My Life in the Appalachian Woods
After a long absence from his native southern Appalachians, Thomas Rain Crowe returned to live alone deep in the North Carolina woods. This is Crowe’s chronicle of that time when, for four years, he survived by his own hand without electricity, plumbing, modern-day transportation, or regular income. It is a Walden for today, paced to nature’s rhythms and cycles and filled with a wisdom one gains only through the pursuit of a consciously simple, spiritual, environmentally responsible life.
Crowe made his home in a small cabin he had helped to build years before—at a restless age when he could not have imagined that the place would one day call him back. The cabin sat on what was once the farm of an old mountain man named Zoro Guice. As we absorb Crowe’s sharp observations on southern Appalachian natural history, we also come to know Zoro and the other singular folk who showed Crowe the mountain ways that would see him through those four years.
Crowe writes of many things: digging a root cellar, being a good listener, gathering wood, living in the moment, tending a mountain garden. He explores profound questions on wilderness, self-sufficiency, urban growth, and ecological overload. Yet we are never burdened by their weight but rather enriched by his thoughtfulness and delighted by his storytelling.
I have known Thomas Crowe for thirty years or so, as poet, writer, editor, and community activist. Before he returned to North Carolina he was a neighbor in my part of California. I have always respected his work and dedication as someone who has truly found both his place and his work, and recommend him highly. His writing speaks from a fluency with landscape and an ease with language like water. At home in both.
—Gary Snyder, author of The Practice of the Wild
Crowe’s phrasing of the voices that resound throughout the hill country of western North Carolina echoes the mutually enhancing presence of humans and the Earth, which is the high experience to which we are called. He reminds me of T'ao Ch'ien, the fifth-century Chinese poet.
—Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth
With this book Crowe adds his voice to the classic prayer of the True Warrior, 'Not for myself alone do I ask, but that all my relations may live.’
—Marilou Awiakta, author of Selu: Seeking the Corn Mother's Wisdom
Crowe's reflections, while made under circumstances many of us shall never experience, are all the more valid for our lives in the high-tech world in which we live.
Straightforward and heartfelt. . . . a hymn to the simple life and its virtues. Crowe does not expect everyone to unplug and head for the woods as he once did, but the lessons he learned contain valuable truths that we ignore at our peril. Like Thoreau, he is a chanticleer, hoping to wake us up.
—John Sledge, Mobile Register
This book will appeal to anyone (and we are many) who has imagined unhinging from the cumbersome structures of 'progress' and consumerism in order to know the rhythms of quiet work and nature.
—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of The Edges of the Civilized World: A Journey in Nature and Culture
Crowe's writing arises from his close connection with the land, his poetry, and his devotion to uncovering the spirit of the place of his habitation. The result is that the work sings with the music of his own voice.
—Joe Napora, author of Portable Shelter
For those of us who have a love affair with these southern mountains, this author speaks our language. . . . Crowe's sharp intellect, his world experience and a deep-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach love for the Appalachian landscape make this book pure treasure.
IPPY Awards, Independent Publisher Magazine
Ragan Old North State Award, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association
Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award, Southern Environmental Law Center