Forty seasons in the arctic national wildlife refuge

The purpose of this web site is twofold. One is to convince people that they should buy my book Sunlight North: Forty Seasons in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The second purpose is to post works in progress, particularly essays, that may be of interest.

The book is a summary of one of the few things that are most important to me in my life (I am on the far side of age seventy.) My wilderness excursions have had a fundamental impact on my emotional and intellectual life that may be of interest to like-minded people. However, when I pieced the book out during the past twenty-five years, I was determined not to write a narrow narrative: first I did this, then I did that, then I did something else. Instead I wrote about episodes that represent the type, or episodes that attempt to capture some aspect of the wilderness experience. I also devote a substantial portion of the book to examining the underpinnings of why people love wilderness, why they quest, what is the fundamental motivation behind it all. The summer and fall of 2018 constitute the 45th year of my excursions North, and if I were to attempt to write about all of them I would have generated thousands of pages of uninteresting material.

I have a particular love of the personal essay. Publishers tell me that personal essays do not sell – which is why I have self-published – yet I nevertheless think that there is a readership for this more personal form. After all, some of our best thinkers have used this form. Emerson and Thoreau in an earlier era, Leopold and Dillard in more recent times, have written memorably in this form.


Sunlight North

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