Skip to main content

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

Sick of Nature

David Gessner’s Return of the Osprey is "among the classics of American nature writing," said the Boston Globe. So why does this critically acclaimed nature writer now declare himself to be "sick of nature"? In diverse, diverting, and frequently hilarious essays, Gessner wrestles with father figures both biological and literary, reflects on the pleasures and absurdities of the writing life, explores the significance of place for both his work and his sense of well-being, and rails at the confines of the nature genre even as he continues to find fresh inspiration for his writing in the natural world. In the end, he learns to embrace—or at least tolerate—the label he once rejected. Whether kicking at the limits of his category or explaining why he was fired from his job as a bookstore clerk; whether recalling his youthful obsession with Ultimate Frisbee or recounting an adventure in the jungles of Belize; whether lampooning his own writerly envy of Sebastian Junger or raging at the over-development of Cape Cod or searching for solace in nature in the wake of September 11, Gessner ranges from the personal to the natural in lyrical reflections on writing, self, and society. In a powerful concluding essay, Gessner moves from the arrival of coyotes in the suburbs of Boston to the birth of his first child in an extended meditation on his characteristic themes of wildness, place, and creativity.

248 pages | 6 x 9

Biological Sciences: Natural History

View all books from Dartmouth College Press

Table of Contents

I. SICK • Sick of Nature • "Bigger Than Shakespeare," Or How I Weathered the Perfect Storm • Benediction: On Being Boswell’s Boswell • A Letter to a Neighbor • Ultimate Glory: A Frisbee Memoir • Marking My Territory • Polygamist of Place • II. GETTING PERSONAL • The Apprentice • To the Fatherland • On Creating Nonfiction • Being Theo • III. BACK TO NATURE • Dungo in the Jungle • Soliloquy in Spartina • The Punctured Pastoral • IV. HOWLING WITH THE TRICKSTER: A WILD MEMOIR • Trickster in the City • Walled-In • Howl

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press