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1 Burnside Nature Studies- General

Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild

by

Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A modern Walden--if Thoreau had had three kids and a minivan--Cabin Fever is a serious yet irreverent take on living in a cabin in the woods while also living within our high-tech, materialist culture.

 

Try to imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. This is the serious yet irreverent sensibility that suffuses Cabin Fever, as the author seeks to apply the hermit-philosopher’s insights to a busy modern life.

 

Tom Montgomery Fate lives in a Chicago suburb, where he is a husband, father, professor, and active member of his community. He also lives in a cabin built with the help of friends in the Michigan woods, where he walks by the river, chops wood, and reads Thoreau by candle light.

 

While he divides his time between suburbia and the cabin, Fate’s point is not to draw a line between the two but to ask what each has to say about the other. How do we balance nature (picking blackberries) with technology (tapping BlackBerrys)? What is revealed about human boundaries when a coyote wanders into a Quiznos? Can a cardinal protecting chicks from a hungry cat teach us anything about instincts and parenting? Fate seeks a more attentive, deliberate way of seeing the world and our place in it, not only among the trees and birds but also in the context of our relationships and society.

 

A seasonal nature memoir, Cabin Fever takes readers on a search for the wild both in the woods and within ourselves. Although we are often estranged from nature in our daily lives, Fate shows that we can recover our kinship with the earth and its other inhabitants if we are willing to pay attention.

 

In his exploration of how we are to live “a more deliberate life” amid a high-tech, material world, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

“If Tom Montgomery Fate has not found the secret formula for the deliberate, balanced life, he is a chief disciple of the search.”—Chicago Tribune

 

Try to imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. This is the sensibility—serious yet irreverent—that suffuses Cabin Fever, as the author seeks to apply the hermit-philosopher’s insights to a busy modern life. Tom Montgomery Fate lives in a Chicago suburb, where he is a husband, father, professor, and active member of his community. He also lives in a cabin built with the help of friends in the Michigan woods, where he walks by the river, chops wood, and reads Thoreau by candlelight. Fate seeks a more attentive, deliberate way of seeing the world and our place in it, not only in the woods but also in the context of our relationships and society. In his search for “a more deliberate life” amid a high-tech, material world, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

Synopsis:

Cabin Fever might be described as a modern Walden, if you can imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. A seasonal memoir written alternately from a little cabin in the Michigan woods and a house in suburban Chicago, the book engages readers in a serious yet irreverent conversation about Thoreau's relevance in the modern age. 

The author turns Thoreau's immortal statement "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately" on its head with the phrase "I got married and had children because I wished to live deliberately." Though Fate spends half his time at the cabin, this is no world-renouncing, back-to-nature paean. Unlike Thoreau during his Walden years, he balances his solitude with full engagement in family and civic life. 

Fate's writing reflects this balancing of nature and family in stories such as "The Confused Cardinal," in which a male cardinal feeds chicks of another species and leads to a reflection on parenting; "In the Time of Cicadas," which juxtaposes his wife's hysterectomy with the burgeoning fecundity of the seventeen-year cicadas coming out to mate; and in a beautiful essay reminiscent of E. B. White's "Once More to the Lake," in which Fate takes his son to the same cabin his father took him as a child.

In his exploration of how we are to live "a more deliberate life" amid a high-tech, materialist culture, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

About the Author

Tom Montgomery Fate is the author of four books, including the collection of essaysBeyond the White Noise and the spiritual memoir Steady and Trembling. His essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Orion, Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Christian Century, and many other publications, and they often air on NPR's Living On Earth and Chicago Public Radio. He is a professor of English at College of DuPage in Illinois, where he  lives with his family. His cabin is in southwest Michigan.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note

Deliberate Life A Search for Balance

 

Spring

Chapter 1 Picking Blackberries Nature and Technology

Chapter 2 In Plain Sight Vision and Revision

Chapter 3 Fathers Watching Sons Windows and Mirrors

Chapter 4 Saunter Reason and Instinct

Chapter 5 The Gay Cardinal Love and Instinct

 

Summer

Chapter 6 Cabin Fever Alone and Lonely

Chapter 7 In the Time of the Cicada Patience and Passion

Chapter 8 Mushrooms Love and Sex

Chapter 9 Lake Glass Childhood and Parenthood

Chapter 10 A Box of Wind Nature and Religion

 

Autumn

Chapter 11 Trimming Trees Self-Reliance and Self-Destruction

Chapter 12 Constructing Truth Wood and Word

Chapter 13 Falling Apart Death and Birth

Chapter 14 Coyotes at the Mall Predators and Prey

Chapter 15 The Art of Dying Art and Activism

Chapter 16 Cougars in the Corn Facts and Truths

 

Winter

Chapter 17 A Familiar Darkness Desperation and Deliberation

Chapter 18 Traveling at Night Seers and Seekers

Chapter 19 Slow Pilgrim Walking and Praying

 

Acknowledgments

Notes

Credits

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807000984
Author:
Fate, Tom Montgomery
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Subject:
Wildlife
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.5 x 8.5 x 0.6 in 0.6625 lb

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Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807000984 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , “If Tom Montgomery Fate has not found the secret formula for the deliberate, balanced life, he is a chief disciple of the search.”—Chicago Tribune

 

Try to imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. This is the sensibility—serious yet irreverent—that suffuses Cabin Fever, as the author seeks to apply the hermit-philosopher’s insights to a busy modern life. Tom Montgomery Fate lives in a Chicago suburb, where he is a husband, father, professor, and active member of his community. He also lives in a cabin built with the help of friends in the Michigan woods, where he walks by the river, chops wood, and reads Thoreau by candlelight. Fate seeks a more attentive, deliberate way of seeing the world and our place in it, not only in the woods but also in the context of our relationships and society. In his search for “a more deliberate life” amid a high-tech, material world, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

"Synopsis" by , Cabin Fever might be described as a modern Walden, if you can imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. A seasonal memoir written alternately from a little cabin in the Michigan woods and a house in suburban Chicago, the book engages readers in a serious yet irreverent conversation about Thoreau's relevance in the modern age. 

The author turns Thoreau's immortal statement "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately" on its head with the phrase "I got married and had children because I wished to live deliberately." Though Fate spends half his time at the cabin, this is no world-renouncing, back-to-nature paean. Unlike Thoreau during his Walden years, he balances his solitude with full engagement in family and civic life. 

Fate's writing reflects this balancing of nature and family in stories such as "The Confused Cardinal," in which a male cardinal feeds chicks of another species and leads to a reflection on parenting; "In the Time of Cicadas," which juxtaposes his wife's hysterectomy with the burgeoning fecundity of the seventeen-year cicadas coming out to mate; and in a beautiful essay reminiscent of E. B. White's "Once More to the Lake," in which Fate takes his son to the same cabin his father took him as a child.

In his exploration of how we are to live "a more deliberate life" amid a high-tech, materialist culture, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

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