cover image Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

Linda Hogan. W. W. Norton & Company, $21 (159pp) ISBN 978-0-393-03784-5

Novelist (Mean Spirit) and poet (Seeing Through the Sun) Hogan branches into nonfiction with this slender volume of meditations on the natural world. She successfully couples a poet's appreciation of phrasing and rhythm with Native American sensibilities and stories. Throughout, Hogan exquisitely examines both natural and internal landscapes. She writes beautifully about animals without anthropomorphizing them and, in so doing, explores what it means to be human. Herself a Chickasaw, Hogan is able to bring a diverse cultural perspective to her analysis of how people relate to nature. She concludes, ``We must wonder what of value can ever be spoken from lives that are lived outside of life, without a love or respect for the land and other lives.'' Although 11 of the 16 essays have been previously published, they come together to form an invigorating whole. Author tour. (Aug.)