Unnatural Selection

A Memoir of Adoption and Wilderness

Andrea Ross

Unnatural Selection

Andrea Ross

Distributed for CavanKerry Press

With a Foreword by Miriam Peskowitz
296 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $21.00 ISBN: 9781933880839 Published May 2021
Adopted at birth, Andrea Ross grew up inhabiting two ecosystems: one was her tangible, adoptive family, the other her birth family, whose mysterious landscape was hidden from her. In this coming-of-age memoir, Ross narrates how in her early twenties, while working as a ranger in Grand Canyon National Park, she embarked on a journey to discover where she came from and, ultimately, who she was. After many missteps and dead ends, Ross uncovered her heartbreaking and inspiring origin story and began navigating the complicated turns of reuniting with her birth parents and their new families. Through backcountry travel in the American West, she also came to understand her place in the world, realizing that her true identity lay not in a choice between adopted or biological parents, but in an expansion of the concept of family.
Contents
Part One
Chapter 1: Earthquake
Chapter 2: Inflamed
Chapter 3: Non-Identified
Chapter 4: Slapped
Chapter 5: "Lady Ranger" at the Canyon
Part Two
Chapter 6: Ruins and Ladders
Chapter 7: Crumbling Steps
Chapter 8: Double Vision
Chapter 9: White Courtesy Telephone
Chapter 10: Dancing in Quicksand
Chapter 11: Participate in Your Own Rescue
Chapter 12: Empty Shoes
Chapter 13: Post-holing
Chapter 14: Facts and Artifacts
Chapter 15: Intermediary
Part Three
Chapter 16: First Words
Chapter 17: The Navel of the World
Chapter 18: The Here and Now
Chapter 19: Half Sister
Chapter 20: Effects of the Edge
Chapter 21: Front Range
Review Quotes
Nancy Verrier, author of 'The Primal Wound' and 'Coming Home to Self'
“Ross has written a fascinating book, the subtitle of which is A Memoir of Adoption and Wilderness.. It is a wonderfully told adventure of guiding others into the natural wonders of climbing mountains, descending into canyons, crossing deserts, and fording rivers. At the same time it is the weaving together the wilderness of adoption with its traumatic loss of the first mother, living with genetic strangers, the roadblocks in the way of being able to connect with biological relatives, and finally finding her birth parents and her roots. It is a journey of discovering the meaning of family, our relationship with all humanity, and with Mother Earth. Beautifully written. A must-read!”
David Gessner, author of New York Times-bestseller, 'All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West' and 'Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness'
"With clarity, grace, and humor, Andrea Ross guides us through the terrain of her life. She is not new to guiding newcomers through the wilderness, and she does so expertly with engaging anecdotes of her life in the canyons and mountains of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and along the icy road to Alaska. She weaves these with the poignant and powerful story of finding her birth parents, one that left me in tears. Read this for the stories of wild places and wild people and, in the end, the moving story of family."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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