Temporary Homelands, by Alison Hawthorne DemingEssays on Nature, Spirit, and Place

Picador, 1996
ISBN 978-0312144289

These essays, by an exciting new voice in nature writing, combine the objectivity of a field notebook and the subjectivity of personal memoir. Tracing the subtle connections and tensions between wilderness and human culture, Deming explores our need for a place within the natural world.  Inspired by four loved places—the northeast woods of her childhood, a remote Canadian island off the eastern seaboard, southeast Alaska, and the American southwest—the essays trace one woman’s journey in search of a spiritual home.  Throughout her sojourns in “temporary homelands,” Deming reflects on natural harmony and the discord with the natural world that our culture has create.

Praise for Temporary Homelands

Temporary Homelands isn’t just another miscellany of nature writings, it’s a poet’s spiritual autobiography. Alison Deming writes with scrupulous and merciful passion about every kind of relatedness—family, place, politics, and wildlife. Her prose is rich in feeling, carefully detailed, and intimate. These essays, free of pieties and polemics, speak about love and the continuance of nature with humane moral fervor.

— W.S. Di Piero

Throughout all 12 of these fine essays, Deming writes with a radiant, unsentimental, often unsettling intelligence that reveals even familiar landscapes in a new light.

— Dianne Ganz Scheper, Belles Lettres

What she is is a poet, like Thoreau, with an ability to see things in context—an ability cultivated with commitment. . .   for Deming conceives of nature not only as what goes on in the woods, but as what goes on in our towns and cities, our back yards, ourselves.

— Lela Stromenger, The Arizona Republic


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