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Visible Bones: Journeys Across Time in the Columbia River Countryby Jack Nisbet
Synopses & Reviews
In Visible Bones, Jack Nisbet explores the melding of natural and human history in the Columbia River country. His subjects include the journey of a fossil trilobite, the disappearance of Northwest condors, a trove of mammoth bones, the whispers of a fading language, and the family of a legendary fur trade scout.
Nisbet's aim is to envision how these varied relics have been altered over time. In pursuit of their stories, he traverses the wildly varied landscapes of the greater Northwest. He dances across geologic epochs; he delves into original ship logs, field journals, news accounts, and artwork; he listens to tribal members, pioneer descendants, and working scientists.
The stories of Visble Bones are fused by their keep sense of place; common voices resonate through the book, drawing the sweep of time across a dynamic region. Taken together, Nisbet's chosen relics trace a path through the heart of the Columbia country, opening windows into its long cycle of extinction, survival, and change — all chapters in the story of a place.
"[Nisbet's] passion and attention to detail will make this an informative read for nature lovers and historians of the Pacific Northwest." Publishers Weekly
In the vast Western territory defined by the Columbia River, historian and naturalist Jack Nisbet tracks the stories and meaning of remains such as a trilobite fossil that points to a tropical prehistoric ecology; the indelible stain of the smallpox pandemic that overcame local native peoples; the remains of Jaco Finlay, a trapper and scout from 200 years ago. The photographs, map, and Nisbet's poetic style create an inspired chronicle of this region.
About the Author
Award-winning author Jack Nisbet writes about human and natural history from his home in Spokane, Washington. His books include Singing Grass, Burning Sage; Purple Flat Top; and Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America.
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