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Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River


Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River Cover

ISBN13: 9781607810230
ISBN10: 1607810239
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

People who flyfish know that a favorite river bend, a secluded spot in moving waters, can feel like home—a place you know intimately and intuitively. In prose that reads like the flowing current of a river, scholar and essayist George Handley blends nature writing, local history, theology, environmental history, and personal memoir in his new book Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River.

Handley’s meditations on the local Provo River watershed present the argument that a sense of place requires more than a strong sense of history and belonging, it requires awareness and commitment. Handley traces a history of settlement along the Provo that has profoundly transformed the landscape and yet neglected its Native American and environmental legacies. As a descendent of one of the first pioneers to irrigate the area, and as a witness to the loss of orchards, open space, and an eroded environmental ethic, Handley weaves his own personal and family history into the landscape to argue for sustainable belonging. In avoiding the exclusionist and environmentally harmful attitudes that come with the territorial claims to a homeland, the flyfishing term, “home waters,” is offered as an alternative, a kind of belonging that is informed by deference to others, to the mysteries of deep time, and to a fragile dependence on water. While it has sometimes been mistakenly assumed that the Mormon faith is inimical to good environmental stewardship, Handley explores the faith’s openness to science, its recognition of the holiness of the creation, and its call for an ethical engagement with nature. A metaphysical approach to the physical world is offered as an antidote to the suicidal impulses of modern society and our persistent ambivalence about the facts of our biology and earthly condition. Home Waters contributes a perspective from within the Mormon religious experience to the tradition of such Western writers as Wallace Stegner, Terry Tempest Williams, Steven Trimble, and Amy Irvine.

Book News Annotation:

Every year sees the appearance of a generous clutch of books that combine natural history, environmentalism, and memoir, many of which are not particularly memorable. The well-crafted prose and strong sense of place evident in Handley's volume on Utah's Provo River, however, make it a stand-out from other, less worthy books. Using the passing of the seasons as his framework, the author recounts his travels in the Provo River watershed, describing both his encounters with the natural world and the ways in which humans are changing that world, often for the worse. Blending the his family's story with the history of the watershed, Handly reflects on his Mormon religion's belief in the holiness of creation, and he offers the flyfishing term home waters as a shorthand way to describe a sense of belonging that can put humans more in harmony with the rest of the natural world. This excellent book will appeal to many readers. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


In prose that reads like the flowing current of a river, scholar and essayist George Handley blends nature writing, local history, theology, environmental history, and personal memoir in a resounding story...

About the Author

George B. Handley is a professor of humanities and comparative literature at Brigham Young University. He is the author of two books of literary criticism: Postslavery Literatures of the Americas and New World Poetics: Nature and the Adamic Imagination of Whitman, Neruda, and Walcott.

Table of Contents

List of Maps



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3


Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6



Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9


Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12





What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

mckenzietimmons, April 13, 2011 (view all comments by mckenzietimmons)
George Handley has had ties to the Provo River though every stage in his life. As a young boy, Handley would go fishing in the Provo River with his good friend. Most mornings young Handley was underdressed and as a result spent the majority of the time shivering, but that would not stop him from waking up before the sun to go fishing. Handley's writing demonstrates how his life can be compared to that same river he grew to love. A river is one of God's beautiful creation's that so often goes unnoticed. Rivers can be quick and never ceasing or peaceful and tranquil. It all depends on how you view it. Handley described the complexity of the river to be like life, full of beauty and unpredictability. Life has unpredictable turns and dips, as a river. But life will always continue to move forward, regardless of what has happened upstream. Something that you can count on with a river is, that it will always be moving forward and always changing; another great comparison to life. The death of Handley’s brother was one of those unpredictable rapids in life that causes you to lose your footing and slip. The gospel of Jesus Christ is also a constant that we can always count on in our lives. When things go wrong, we can turn to our Savior for comfort. The beautiful words used in Handley’s book painted a meticulous picture in our minds of a picture of Christ. The only thing that we can do to prepare ourselves is to look to Christ so that we will not slip when the rapids of life head our direction. This book contains beautiful imagery and wording that allows the reader to be engulfed in the story.
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Product Details

Handley, George B.
University of Utah Press
Handley, George B. - Travel -
Provo River Watershed (Utah) -
United States - State & Local - West
Ecosystems & Habitats - Rivers
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
World History-General
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 14
6 Maps
9 x 6 in
Age Level:
from 16 up to 80

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology

Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages University of Utah Press - English 9781607810230 Reviews:
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In prose that reads like the flowing current of a river, scholar and essayist George Handley blends nature writing, local history, theology, environmental history, and personal memoir in a resounding story...

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