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Shadow Mountain: A Memoir of Wolves, a Woman, and the Wildby Rene Askins
Synopses & Reviews
Part memoir, part meditation, part love story, Shadow Mountain is an impassioned commentary on how our connection to the wild can rescue or destroy us.
While completing an undergraduate research thesis, Renee Askins was given a two-day-old wolf pup to raise. Named Natasha, the pup was destined for a life in captivity. Through her work with Natasha and her siblings, Askins developed a deep, fierce love for the species. On the day Natasha was unexpectedly taken from her and sent to a remote research facility, Askins made a promise to the wolf pup: Your life, your sacrifice, will make a difference. And it did.
Renee Askins spent the next fifteen years in the grueling effort to restore wolves to Yellowstone, where they had been exterminated by man some seventy years before. The campaign's popularity with the American public aroused the rage of the Western ranching community and their powerful political allies in Washington. She endured death threats, years of contentious debate and political manipulations, and heartbreaking setbacks when colonizing wolves were illegally killed. But in March 1995, Askins witnessed the realization of her mission when wolves were released into their native home in Yellowstone--the first wolves to be found there in almost a century.
A born storyteller, Renee Askins offers moving and vibrant examples of the reciprocity that exists between man and animal. And, like a wolf in the shadows, Askins circles the issues surounding the conundrum of embracing wild nature. Shadow Mountain explores the wildness present within animals and humans, urging us to recognize both its light and its shadow--its power to heal and harm. Roaming from wolves to theWestminster Kennel Club Dog Show, from passion to politics, Shadow Mountain is the story of shared struggles and destinies, of failure and redemption, and offers insight into how we can mend our contentious relationship with wildness by understanding the power of the wild to guide and shape us.
The wolves of North America have their Jane Goodall, and her name is Renee Askins.... An eloquent plea for nature unrestrained.
Delightful...fun to read. The seamless way Askins weaves the natural world into her narrative brings to mind Terry Tempest Williams's memoir Refuge,
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Demonstrates the kind of deep natural wisdom and sense of awe at the wild that has distinguished writers like Edwin Muir, Annie Dillard, and Aldo Leopold.... Wonderfully poignant.
Renee Askins is a modern-day hero, a woman of tremendous courage and creativity.... Never have we needed these words more. This book is a quiet revolution.
TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, AUTHOR OF REFUGE AND LEAP
A lyrical account of the author's long-time love affair with wolves offers thoughtful insights into the role of the wilderness in the American cultural consciousness and describes the long and difficult efforts to restore wild wolves to Yellowstone National Park.
After forming an intense bond with Natasha, a wolf cub she raised as part of her undergraduate research, Reneeacute;e Askins was inspired to found the Wolf Fund. As head of this grassroots organization, she madeit her goal to restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park, where they had been eradicated by man over seventy years before. Here, Askins recounts her courageous fifteen-year campaign, wrangling alongthe way with Western ranchers and their political allies in Washington, enduring death threats, and surviving the anguish of illegal wolf slayings to ensure that her dream of restoring Yellowstone's ecologicalbalance would one day be realized. Told in powerful, first-person narrative, Shadow Mountain is the awe-inspiring story of her mission and her impassioned meditation on our connectionto the wild.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
RENE ASKINS founded the Wolf Fund in 1986 for the sole purpose of reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park. She has been profiled in Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Audubon, the New York Times, People, and Parade and her writing has been featured in Harper's Magazine and in the anthology Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals. She has traveled and lectured extensively on the topic of wildness in our culture. She lives in Wilson, Wyoming, with her husband, her daughter, four dogs, and three parakeets.
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