The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore (Paperback)
  • The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore (Paperback)

The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore (Paperback)

Paperback 158 Pages / Published: 15/09/2017
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The East Country is a work of creative nonfiction in which the acclaimed nature writer Jules Pretty integrates memoir, natural history, cultural critique, and spiritual reflection into a single compelling narrative. Pretty frames his book around Aldo Leopold and his classic A Sand County Almanac, bringing Leopold’s ethic—that some could live without nature but most should not—into the twenty-first century.

In The East Country, Pretty follows the seasons through seventy-four tales set in a variety of landscapes from valley to salty shore. Pretty convinces us that we should all develop long attachments to the local, observing that the land can change us for the better.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9781501709333
Number of pages: 158
Weight: 255 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 9 mm


"The East Country, like all accomplished works of close ecological focus, moves cleverly between the intensely local and the universal. Jules Pretty unites his two distinguished careers-as a biologist and as a writer in the broad fields of nature, place and landscape-to encourage `long attachments to the local' as profoundly valuable undertakings."

-- Robert Macfarlane, author of The Old Ways and Landmarks

"The East Country is a brave and visionary book. Jules Pretty's writing is clear and strong, and the questions he raises about our relationship with the natural world and our capacity to cultivate a real sense of place are of the greatest importance."

-- Douglas E. Christie, author of The Blue Sapphire of the Mind

"The East Country is a marvelous book. There is something mystical about it, coming perhaps from the sense of reverence that Jules Pretty accords the natural world. It gives the sense of a prose poem, a song of praise for a world that is vanishing."

-- Astrid E. J. Ogilvie, coeditor of The Iceberg in the Mist

"Jules Pretty has created a new literary form within nature writing. `Murmuration Realism' might be the term that captures his technique of using words to create place-based shapes, patterns, and rhythms in the mind of a reader. Readers can dwell intimately in the time and spaces of a place they may never have actually seen. Concatenations of words and concepts take to the air like a thousand starlings, and Pretty orchestrates them so that they form organic unity and come alive. In the heartbeat of a full calendar year, he creates a phenology of place for us, yet, at the same time, we know it creates him. To be able to walk on the bridge between the objective and the subjective is a rare treat. Jules Pretty, in The East Country, gives you the opportunity to stand on that bridge and drink in the wonder of it all."

-- Glenn A. Albrecht, University of Sydney

"I'm in step with Prof Jules Pretty. Who wouldn't be, when he rightly recognises the link between a healthy natural world and good mental health in humans - and trumpets the message? Like him, I love getting outdoors to feel the sun (and rain) on my skin and notice the different rhythm. You could say I've bought the T-shirt along with the waterproof walking boots and warm coat."

-- Steve Russell * The East Anglian Daily Times *

"His celebration of the landscape incorporates memoir and poetry, natural history and spiritual reflection, but also a critique of where current policies are leading us. `Nature will carry on regardless,' he suggest. `It is just that we might not.'"

-- Matthew Reisz * Times Higher Education *

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