Synopses & Reviews
In this warm, stimulating brew of personal stories, acclaimed author Kathleen Dean Moore uses the metaphor of an island to challenge the cynicism inherent in the Western worldview. A gifted storyteller with a sly sense of humor, Moore explores three separations brought to us by Enlightenment philosophers: the separation of human from nature, of things near and far away, and of the sacred from the mundane. Challenging each, such as Descartes' idea that humans have a discrete consciousness and can alter creation while remaining unaltered themselves, she reveals why such divisions don't tally with the values expressed daily in the way people live. Moore disguises her philosophical explorations in stories: about vacationing on a tiny island in Alaska, visiting her father in the hospital, watching grouse perform their mating dance in the desert. Throughout, she shows that, when properly observed, the world is full of opportunities to find hidden connections.
Can the love reserved for family and friends be extended to a place? In her latest book, acclaimed author Kathleen Dean Moore reflects on how deeply the environment is entrenched in the human spirit, despite the notion that nature and humans are somehow separate. Moore's essays, deeply felt and often funny, make connections in what can appear to be a disconnected world. Written in parable form, her stories of family and friends of wilderness excursions with her husband and children, camping trips with students, blowing up a dam, her daughter's arrest for protesting the war in Iraq affirm an impulse of caring that belies the abstract division of humans from nature, of the sacred from the mundane. Underlying these wonderfully engaging stories is the authors belief in a new ecological ethic of care, one that expands the idea of community to include the environment, and embraces the land as family.