Synopses & Reviews
This spellbinding tribute to Puma concolor honors the big cat's presence on the land and in our psyches. In some essays, the puma appears front and center: a lion leaps over Rick Bass's feet, hurtles off a cliff in front of J. Frank Dobie, gazes at Julia Corbett when she opens her eyes after an outdoor meditation, emerges from the fog close enough for poet Gary Gildner to touch. Marc Bekoff opens his car door for a dog that turns out to be a lion. Other works evoke lions indirectly. Biologists describe aspects of cougar ecology, such as its rugged habitat and how males struggle to claim territory. Conservationists relate the political history of America's greatest cat. Short stories and essays consider lions' significance to people, reflecting on accidental encounters, dreams, Navajo beliefs, guided hunts, and how vital mountain lions are to people as symbols of power and wildness.
"This excellent and compelling collection of primarily personal essays by conservationists on their encounters with cougars successfully gives voice to a 'controversial' animal. In 'The Growl,' naturalist Steve Edwards traces his journey from fear, after finding a cougar under his cabin, to collaboration, as he helps what he dubs the 'innocent' animal avoid being killed by state police. Cougar expert David Stoner describes in detail how the animals live in the Colorado Plateau, which he calls one of the most rugged and least accessible landscapes left in North America, while American Indian expert Steve Pavlik examines the role of the cougar in Navajo mythology, emphasizing the importance of mountain lion beliefs and practices in traditional culture. But most notable are those essays that explore the 'psychological value' of cougars, exemplified by teacher and activist Suzanne Duarte's 'My Bush Soul, the Mountain Lion,' a beautiful evocation of and tribute to her experience with the spirit of the mountain lion and how it began her initiation into the 'deeper secrets of the psyche.' With its wide range of scientific and cultural approaches, this impressive collection will help to shed light on America's greatest cat." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This compulsively readable tribute to mountain lions honors their presence on the land and in our psyches. Contributors include Rick Bass, Marc Bekoff, Janay Brun, Julia B. Corbett, Deanna Dawn, J. Frank Dobie, Suzanne Duarte, Steve Edwards, Joan Fox, Gary Gildner, Wendy Keefover-Ring, Ted Kerasote, Christina Kohlruss, Barry Lopez, BK Loren, Cara Blessley Lowe, Steve Pavlik, David Stoner, and Linda Sweanor.University Press of Colorado