PINHOOK: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land

Janisse Ray, Author
Janisse Ray, Author . Chelsea Green $12 (224p) ISBN 978-1-931498-74-6
Reviewed on: 03/07/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005

The author of the American Book Award–winning Ecology of a Cracker Childhood celebrates South Georgia's humble Pinhook Swamp in an impassioned and poetic account of the area's environmental fragmentation and its subsequent restoration. The swamp, "170,000 acres of dreary dismal... too deep for a human to wade in, too shallow for a boat to draw," and populated by flies and mosquitoes, is the corridor connecting the Okefenokee Swamp with Osceola National Park. Most of its acres have now been purchased and protected, but environmentalists' work, Ray warns, is not finished yet. In impressionistic, lyrical chapters, Ray meditates on the meaning of silence ("Silence is the ghost of the panther" that used to populate Pinhook), the animals of the area (black bears, bees, frogs) and the people dedicated to saving it. She also includes poems, a Native American blessing and italicized reflections on the land's fragmentation ("the separation of habitat in a landscape... chopping a wild place into pieces") by roads, logging, mining and developments. Her moving book is a tribute to a small but crucial wild place and a call for readers to help preserve it and others like it. (Apr.)

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