The Norton Book of Nature Writing

Robert Finch, Author, John Elder, Editor
Robert Finch, Author, John Elder, Editor W. W. Norton & Company $35 (921p) ISBN 978-0-393-02799-0
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Covering more than 200 years of nature writing, this volume is more than a sampling of the genre, it is a feast. Finch ( The Primal Place ) and Elder ( Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature ) have assembled a dazzling array of British and American writers whose works range from pastoral to impressionistic, from personal observation to the imaginative and philosophical. Many of the authors are readily identified with nature writing: Gilbert White, William Bartram, Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold. The editors have some surprises for us, introducing essays on nature by Thomas Merton, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Washington Irving, D. H. Lawrence, George Catlin. About one-third of the selections represent modern writers, among them Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, Wendell Berry. For some readers this anthology will be a voyage of discovery; for others, an opportunity to renew acquaintance with old friends. (Apr.)