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Course Description

The father of American nature writers, Henry David Thoreau, wrote in Walking, “I wish to speak for nature.” Our class begins with his essay, as vibrant now as in 1851, and we notice much that remains true today. We go on to read two stars in the world of nature-inspired prose. Annie Dillard, considered a latter-day Thoreau, won the Pulitzer Prize with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974). The Abundance, selected essays, basks in her exceptional scope, in science-inflected essays of everyday life—ranging from her home in the Virginia mountains to a full solar eclipse in Oregon. Here we find her breathtaking insights on nature and human nature. Finally, in The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson swims currents of biological diversity. Now that we are in a time when Carson's beloved oceans are imperiled, we read selected chapters and discuss her masterpiece.  Facilitated Discussion    
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