Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blogging from the Bookshop: On Lynn Darling's Out of the Woods

"Getting lost is easily avoided, say people who never get lost." - Lynn Darling

Note: objects are not necessarily to scale. The vivacious red of the oak leaf overlaid on the map beneath is not in fact larger than the landscape.  Failure to realize this could result in one becoming lost.

Out of the Woods: a Memoir of Wayfinding, by Lynn Darling. Harper Collins, 2014. 288 pages; 31$. Widowed ten years earlier, and finding herself quite suddenly alone and freed of parental responsibilities after her college-bound daughter leaves home, longtime New Yorker Lynn Darling suffered a crisis of personal identity and took to the woods in Vermont looking for self-knowledge and answers. Hoping to find direction in nature, she paradoxically finds new ways to get lost and reflect upon her past and what Geraldine Brooks calls "the often-treacherous switchbacks of the second half of life". A lyrical and vulnerable memoir of discovery in the tradition of Walden and Annie Dillard, Out of the Woods is one modern woman's reflection on the crisis of Dante's "mid-point of the path through life," and a manifesto and testament on the ways in which we might hope to find our way back.  

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