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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

"If you combined the lyricism of Annie Dillard, the vision of Aldo Leopold, and the gentle but tough-minded optimism of Frank McCourt, you might come close to Amy Lou Jenkins.Tom Bissell author of The Father of All Things 

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 Featured Anthology


Several years ago, David Gessner declared that he was sick of nature, well perhaps that was not what he meant. He was sick of constraints on nature writers, as if they were a holy bunch enmeshed in perpetual rapture and proselytizing horror at those unenlightened concrete walkers. These twenty young writers were not responding to Gessner, but they could have been.  They've thrown off shackles and found original voices that seldom speak from wilderness. Their inspiration is the remnant of a natural world that still finds a way to speak to those who pay attention.                                                                             

A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World

  A distinctly contemporary take on the genre, A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise features original essays by twenty gifted writers, all thirty and under, whose strong and diverse voices redefine nature writing for the twenty-first century.

  Bonnie Tsui, a former editor at Travel + Leisure, is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the Boston Globe. She also writes for National Geographic Adventurer, O: the Oprah Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications, and is the author of She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. Tsui lives in San Francisco.



Editor Bonnie Tsui's cast of accomplished contributors wrestle with integrating nature into daily life while putting down roots-- often in urban environments. Included here are The New Yorker's Andrea Walker on learning to hunt with her father; noted fishing author and painter James Prosek on the mythology and mystery of eels; writer Hugh Ryan on being taught how to pitch a tent by a sixfoot drag queen at a Radical Faeries camp in Tennessee; poet Cecily Parks on reconciling her adventuress self with her fear of lightning; and African-American journalist Alex Kellogg on rethinking his ideas about race and identity on a visit to Kenya and Eritrea.

Theirs and the other writings in this collection illuminate questions about self and place, belonging and rootlessness, and the meeting of created and natural landscapes. Brimming with insight and humor, A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise rewards us with new perspectives on personal identity in relation to nature, and on the impact of landscape and place on our lives.



 More By Bonnie Tsui



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