Lyon, professor of English at Utah State University, makes a strong case for the literary values of the genre of nature writing. He presents a fine mini-course on the history and development of the American nature essay from the 17th century to the present, a survey that in itself makes the book eminently worthwhile. Also included is an anthology of works by the expected (and obligatory) authors: Thoreau, Muir, Burroughs; Matthiessen, Carson, Krutch; Dillard, Abbey, Lopez. There are some pleasant surprises that give us an opportunity to sample the writings of Alexander Wilson (on the wood thrush), Thomas Nuttall (ornithology), Liberty Hyde Bailey (environment). In this splendid collection of nature essays, Lyon offers as well an extensive, albeit not complete list of books for further reading. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989 Release date: 03/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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