The Pine Island Paradox
Can the love reserved for family and friends be extended to a place? In The Pine Island Paradox, 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.
Every year Moore vacations with her family on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. In these essays, Moore—a gifted storyteller with a sly sense of humor—beautifully explores the island as a metaphor for the paradoxical connections that bind us despite our apparent isolation. She tenderly captures the small moments, human and wild, of life there: thousands of shrimp becoming visible at low tide, fungi that her botanist father cultivated in the family refrigerator, bad weather, grouse dancing on their lek, her daughter’s arrest after protesting the war in Iraq, and the haunting note—the augmented fourth—heard in the call of a loon, the howl of a wolf, or sacred music.
Wonderfully engaging and deeply felt, The Pine Island Paradox presents an environmental ethic of caring that projects outward from our families to the special places we experience with them, an affection that embraces the human and natural world.
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Praise and Prizes
“Thoughtful and elegant . . . Whether gazing at stars on the Oregon coast or watching birds in her back yard, Kathleen Dean Moore notices with a precise eye.”
“Possessing the soul of a poet and the voice of a troubadour, Kathleen Dean Moore writes luminous essays about what it means to love a place. . . . Moore, with graceful insight and lyrical eloquence, reveals worlds that dare not be missed, revels in the joy of their discovery, and extols the rewards of their stewardship.”
“Kathleen Dean Moore joyfully elbows such cherished behemoths of Western culture as Enlightenment philosophy and capitalism while wading through shrimp-filled ocean water, camping on an island, or listening to a meadowlark at dawn. . . . She’s deliberately flying in the face of an authoritarian, faceless science that pretends that research is done in an emotionless vacuum.”
“Accessible, wise, moving and informative . . . Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher of the practical and the everyday, which makes her a genuine treasure.”
“Kathleen Dean Moore challenges the notion set forth by a succession of Western philosophers that islands––whether physical or metaphorical––isolate us. Combining memoir, nature writing, and ecological and philosophical musings, she evokes a vision of the interrelation of life, all joined beneath the surface.”