Gretel Ehrlich Islands, the Universe, Home

ISBN 13: 9780140109078

Islands, the Universe, Home

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9780140109078: Islands, the Universe, Home

Gretel Ehrlich’s world is one of isolation and wonder, of pain and grace, and these elements ignite her vivid imagination. She writes of ravens and elk and prairie dogs, and eagles falling out of the sky. She tells of a voyage of discovery in northern Japan, where she finds her "bridge to heaven." She captures a "light moving down a mountain slope." One evening there is a contrapuntal dance of death: a calf she has tried to save, and a friend and mentor both die. She remembers what a painter once told her when she was twelve years old, as he was painting her portrait: "You have to mix death into everything. Then you have to mix life into that. If they are not there I try to mix them. Otherwise, the painting won’t be human."

Through these explorations, in prose that is supple and muscular and evocative, Ehrlich begins to understand her own longings, her own nature, and the relatedness of her life to the universe.

"A volume of ten deep, wandering essays that at times are so point-blank vital you nearly need to put down the book to settle yourself." -- Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

"Her essays, delicately combining interior and exterior exploration, are as spare and beautiful as the landscape from which they’ve grown... Each one is a pilgrimage into the secrets of the heart." -- Andrea Barrett, The Cleveland Plain Dealers

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The power and mystery of untamed nature in the Wyoming wilderness is the focus of an evocative but sometimes abstruse new collection of essays by Ehrlich (Heart Mountain, 1988; The Solace of Open Spaces, 1985). A transplanted Californian, Ehrlich chronicles life on her Wyoming ranch--training horses, doctoring calves, and irrigating fields--as she seeks emotional lessons in the daily unfolding of nature's wisdom. Exploring such themes as home and isolation, birth and death, and order and chaos, she returns repeatedly to the concept of paradox. Spring brings not only rebirth but death as a sudden thaw floods fields, killing new calves. Summer means fecundity but also destructive fires, which are themselves paradoxical--the black ash left in their wake is the richest of fertilizers; the fires are not the end of a life cycle but perhaps the beginning. ``How fragile death is, how easily it opens back into life,'' writes the author. At her best, in observations like these, Ehrlich combines a naturalist's eye with a philosopher's meditations--an ability that soars in a description of her trip to visit sacred sites in Japan. Occasionally, however, she abandons the rigors of structure and analysis for murkier musings--for example, in a desultory tour of her sprawling acres: ``I search for the possible in the impossible. Nothing. Then I try for the opposite, but the yellow leaves in trees--shaped like mouths--just laugh.'' Still, a lyrical, loving appreciation of landscape and life. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Ehrlich's well-received work, The Solace of Open Spaces ( LJ 11/1/85), is a collection of descriptive essays about Wyoming sheepherders, cowboys, Native Americans, and desolate spaces. Her new work begins and ends in Wyoming, but goes beyond, to the Channel Islands off the California coast and to mountain Shinto temples in Japan, where the author made a pilgrimage. Her essays, however, are not tied to place, and thus these leaps enlarge, rather than jar, her writing; she uses place as a point of departure for her images and explorations of architecture, anthropology, a golden eagle, the Yellowstone fire, physics, time, astronomy, and much more. Ehrlich has also published poetry and short stories, including the recent Drinking Dry Clouds: Stories from Wyoming ( LJ 6/15/91). Her thoughtful, poetic language is a pleasure to read. Recommended for general literature collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91.
-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, Ore.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gretel Ehrlich s world is one of isolation and wonder, of pain and grace, and these elements ignite her vivid imagination. She writes of ravens and elk and prairie dogs, and eagles falling out of the sky. She tells of a voyage of discovery in northern Japan, where she finds her bridge to heaven. She captures a light moving down a mountain slope. One evening there is a contrapuntal dance of death: a calf she has tried to save, and a friend and mentor both die. She remembers what a painter once told her when she was twelve years old, as he was painting her portrait: You have to mix death into everything. Then you have to mix life into that. If they are not there I try to mix them. Otherwise, the painting won t be human. Through these explorations, in prose that is supple and muscular and evocative, Ehrlich begins to understand her own longings, her own nature, and the relatedness of her life to the universe. A volume of ten deep, wandering essays that at times are so point-blank vital you nearly need to put down the book to settle yourself. -- Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle Her essays, delicately combining interior and exterior exploration, are as spare and beautiful as the landscape from which they ve grown. Each one is a pilgrimage into the secrets of the heart. -- Andrea Barrett, The Cleveland Plain Dealers. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140109078

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gretel Ehrlich s world is one of isolation and wonder, of pain and grace, and these elements ignite her vivid imagination. She writes of ravens and elk and prairie dogs, and eagles falling out of the sky. She tells of a voyage of discovery in northern Japan, where she finds her bridge to heaven. She captures a light moving down a mountain slope. One evening there is a contrapuntal dance of death: a calf she has tried to save, and a friend and mentor both die. She remembers what a painter once told her when she was twelve years old, as he was painting her portrait: You have to mix death into everything. Then you have to mix life into that. If they are not there I try to mix them. Otherwise, the painting won t be human. Through these explorations, in prose that is supple and muscular and evocative, Ehrlich begins to understand her own longings, her own nature, and the relatedness of her life to the universe. A volume of ten deep, wandering essays that at times are so point-blank vital you nearly need to put down the book to settle yourself. -- Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle Her essays, delicately combining interior and exterior exploration, are as spare and beautiful as the landscape from which they ve grown. Each one is a pilgrimage into the secrets of the heart. -- Andrea Barrett, The Cleveland Plain Dealers. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140109078

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