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Raising Wild: Dispatches from a Home in the Wilderness (Hardcover)
Combining natural history, humor, and personal narrative, Raising Wild is an intimate exploration of Nevada's Great Basin Desert, the wild and extreme land of high desert caliche and juniper, of pronghorn antelope and mountain lions, where wildfires and snowstorms threaten in equal measure. Within this remote, high desert landscape sits the home of Michael Branch, where he, his wife, and their two curious little girls brazenly live among the packrats and ground squirrels, rattlesnakes and scorpions. In Branch's hands, this exceedingly barren and stark landscape becomes a place teeming with energy, surprise, and an endless web of connections that ultimately includes his family and home. It is in this desert setting where, in building a ladder to the stars, one can find a connection to the past and to the heavens; where his children's first garden becomes not the quaint blossoming of seed to flower and fruit but a smoke bomb-drenched exhibit of futility in the face of the inhospitable desert environment; where the surprise of fire acts as a reminder all too real of the unknowable that awaits us and for which we can never fully prepare. In this exhilarating, lyrical, and humorous exploration of natural history, Branch reveals a desert wilderness in which our ideas about nature and ourselves are challenged and transformed.
About the Author
MIKE BRANCH is the author of more than 200 essays, articles, and reviews, and has given more than 250 public readings and lectures. His creative nonfiction includes pieces that have received Honorable Mention for the Pushcart Prize and been recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays (three times), The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His essays have appeared in magazines including Orion, Ecotone, Slate, Utne Reader, Sunset, Reader's Digest, Hawk and Handsaw, High Country News, Places, and Whole Terrain, and in many essay collections, including Wonder and Other Survival Skills, The Best Creative Nonfiction, and Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together. He is co-founder of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), and he served for sixteen years as the Book Review Editor of the creative/scholarly journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. Mike is Professor of Literature and Environment in the English Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he co-founded the nation's first graduate program in Literature and Environment studies.