ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS

"A travel book, yes, a literary memoir, yes, and a profound meditation on our myths and shadows. Anyone who loves the American west will be enraptured by this book. It is a wonderful piece of work."
— Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter

"This book rubs Abbey and Stegner’s history in the dust and sand so beloved to them, posing these two late icons among voices, landscapes, and arguments that endure in western wilderness, deftly creating a larger geographic chronicle." — Craig Childs, author of House of Rain

“Praise David Gessner for reminding us that the words of our two most venerated literary grandfathers of the American West, to remind us of our wilder longings, to incite in us a fury, that we might act--even now--to defend all the wild that remains.”
— Pam Houston, author of Cowboys are My Weakness

“To understand the truth of the Desert West, read Stegner. To understand one writer’s emotional response to that desert and to our thoughtless destruction of wilderness, read Abbey. To understand the two writers as men of their times—and ours—read Gessner: for his honesty, compassion, humility, scholarship, and sensibility.”
---Stephen Trimble, author of Bargaining for Eden








THE TARBALL CHRONICLES:
"If you read only one book about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill this year, it should be this one. If you plan not to read any books about it, make an exception for this blunt, funny, eye-opening quest to find the real stories behind the Gulf crisis."
—Shelf Awareness

For those interested in putting the Gulf crisis in perspective, there can be no better guide than this funny, often uncertain, frank, opinionated, always curious, informed and awestruck accounting of how we’ve gone wrong and could go right, a full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and human ignorance. --Atlanta Journal Constitution


“[The Tarball Chronicles] offers compelling images and vivid descriptions of the Gulf. Anyone who wanted a first-hand look at the Gulf after the news cycle ended will find it here, but this brilliant, thoughtful book will leave them disquieted.”
—Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

“Expressive and adventurous. A profoundly personal inquiry into the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe unique in its hands-on immediacy and far-ranging ruminations.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist

"For nature writing enthusiasts, Gessner needs no introduction. His books and essays have in many ways redefined what it means to write about the natural world, coaxing the genre from a staid, sometimes wonky practice to one that is lively and often raucous." The Washington Post on My Green Manifesto



This summer Milkweed Editions will publish my next two books. First up, in July, is My Green Manifesto, which melds a trip down the Charles River with my cry for a new, wilder (and funnier) environmentalism.

In September, Milkweed will launch The Tarball Chronicles, which follows my journey through the oily Gulf during the height of the Deepwater Spill last summer. The book was built, in part out of my Gulf blogs,which have been compiled by Onearth Magazine here.

Come join Bill Roorbach and me for a drink at: Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour.

Meanwhile, Poets & Writers magazine just chose UNCW as the second best nonfiction program in the country. Which aint bad.

Magazine Work:

In August OnEarth published my thoughts on birds and the Gulf Oil Spill as Nature and Adaptation.


My Green Manifesto focuses on my trip down the Charles River with eco-planner Dan Driscoll, who helped green the river. To read "Riding the Wild Charles," published in OnEarth magazine, click here.


My essay on the competing demands of writing and teaching, "Those Who Write, Teach," appeared in The New York Times Magazine. (To see more on my pedagogical split personality, watch my video The Professor Transforms.)

Soaring with Fidel is out in paperback.

My essay "The Dreamer Did Not Exist," which originally appeared in The Oxford American, has been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008.


Listen to my essay on wildness for This I Believe on NPR's All Things Considered. The essay will be published as part of the next This I Believe collection this fall.

The essay, "Learning to Surf," originally published in Orion, won the 2006 John Burroughs Award for Best Essay.




Getting pretty excited as ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS nears publication. Here are some things folks are saying:

“Two extraordinary men, and one remarkable book. To understand how we understand the natural world, you need to read this book.” --Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth

"An excellent study of two difficult men."
— Larry McMurty

“Stegner and Abbey ‘are two who have lighted my way,’ nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved.”
--Kirkus Review Starred Review

Coming in April 2015...


Abbey in a characteristic pose

Stegner in the Black Rock Desert

BIO:
David Gessner is the author of nine books, including the forthcoming All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West, Sick of Nature, My Green Manifesto, and The Tarball Chronicles, which won the 2012 Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment and the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011 and 2012. His Return of the Osprey, which was chosen by the Boston Globe as one of the top ten nonfiction books of the year and the Book-of-the-Month club as one of its top books of the year. The Globe called it a "classic of American Nature Writing."

Gessner has published essays in many magazines, including Outside magazine and the New York Times Magazine, and has won the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, a Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in Best American Nonrequired Reading. He recently appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle to offer his take on the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Gessner taught Environmental Writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard, and is currently a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the award-winning literary journal of place, Ecotone.

He also puts a lot of energy into blogging in his Wild Life column with the Natural Resources Defense Council and for Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour, a website he created with the writer Bill Roorbach. He still dreams of winning the national championship in ultimate Frisbee, but knows it will never happen.

The ASLE judges on The Tarball Chronicles:

"David Gessner's The Tarball Chronicles takes the lyrical tradition of nature writing, adds a bit of a badass persona reminiscent of Edward Abbey, and brings both into the blighted Gulf of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Along the way, Gessner cultivates relationships that allow people across cultural, geographic, and political gaps to recognize their common interest in saving what is left in the world. Gessner doesn't hide from the damage, even as he asserts that there is a profound beauty still in nature, and that, if the future may not offer much hope, there's still, as Thoreau might say, a world out there to be lived in. And good lives--both human and not--still being led. This book is edgy, dynamic, darkly humorous, and engaging, with lyrical fireworks, evocatively rendered landscapes, and unflinching but sensitive portrayals of people, places and the damage done, and Gessner's own distinctive and convincing voice rings out from the center of the action."


"A full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and human ignorance."
Atlanta Journal Constitution on The Tarball Chronicles

Watch "Transformation," my new YouTube Movie

And: Skiing the Beach

My Books

“Stegner and Abbey ‘are two who have lighted my way,’ nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved.”—Kirkus Review (Starred Review)
My Descent into the Oily Gulf.
Down the Charles River in Pursuit of a New Environmentalism
My story of following the osprey migration from Cape Cod to Cuba and Venezuela and back
"This book is an enormous gift, an act of preservation as important as any chunk of land purchased by The Nature Conservancy. John Hay's stature cannot be overestimated, and David Gessner has done him great justice."—Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home: A Long Walk Through America’s Most Hopeful Landscape
“A classic of American nature writing.”
--The Boston Globe
"Not since the diatribes from Edward Abbey has anyone in this field come out and made such a sacrilege of our holy texts."
--John Hanson Mitchell
“A highly readable, disarmingly self-conscious meditation on nature, ancestry, and mortality."
The Boston Globe
"Gessner's essays are on fire. He shows us that we can have delightful, imaginative and creative lives by becoming more rooted and connected to the place where we are...Wise and enlivening, provoking us into a higher understanding of both nature and ourselves."
--Rocky Mountain News

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