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Death of a Hornet: And Other Cape Cod Essays

Finch, Robert

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ISBN 10: 1582430497 / ISBN 13: 9781582430492
Verlag: Counterpoint Press, 2000
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Hardcover
Verkäufer Robinson Street Books, IOBA (Binghamton, NY, USA)

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1582430497 First edition. Very good no dust jacket. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING7884918

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Titel: Death of a Hornet: And Other Cape Cod Essays

Verlag: Counterpoint Press

Erscheinungsdatum: 2000

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand:Very Good

Auflage: 1st Edition

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Spanning more than twenty years, these essays record changes not only in the natural environment of Cape Cod, but in the writer's own life

"Robert Finch is one of our finest observers...I admire [his] essays very much for their strength, subtlety, and above all their geniality."
-Annie Dillard

"A first-rate nature writer [of] compassionate, quietly provocative essays."
-Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"A reflective observer whose verbal catalogs are reminiscent of Isak Dinesen."

Death of a Hornet is one man's elegant rendering of Cape Cod, a sandy, scrub-oaked, tough, and vulnerable spit of land reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean. Here are stories of "natural adventures" that readers of Finch's previous books have come to expect, as well as longer meditations on the future of the Cape's fragile environment, the experience of living in one place for a long time and having to leave it, and the limitations of human sympathy.


Cape Cod, Massachusetts, like every other place, is but a small corner of the planet. Yet it contains multitudes, as the nature writer and editor Robert Finch demonstrates in this lively set of essays. In the title piece, which opens the book, he muses on a fellow occupant of his study, a spider that, one day, does in a yellow hornet that has incautiously wandered into her web. There is no cruelty in the spider's act, Finch notes, only a quiet affirmation of the unsentimental ways of nature, in which death follows and even presupposes life. Other essays consider the unhappy fortunes of a beached whale, one that evidently had not found enough to eat at a crucial stage in its growth; the comings and goings of migratory birds and bats; the movement of sand dunes; the falling of autumn leaves; and the eternal power of the ocean. In limning the landscapes of Cape Cod, shaped by humans as much as by the sea, Finch shows that one need not wander into the wilderness to find nature in abundance; his gentle reflections on the small details of daily life are models of compression and careful observation.

Although some of the essays are tinged with melancholy--as befits any consideration of matters of life and death, and of the passage of the years--they collectively celebrate a place that has captured the hearts of many, and will long do so. Or, as Finch writes, "How lucky are we who live in proximity to such a landscape, that has such easy powers to lift us out of our narrow lives and self-made blinders, and so seduce us into seeing who we really are!" --Gregory McNamee

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