Late Migrations

Late Migrations

A Natural History of Love and Loss

Book - 2019
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A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna December 2019 Book Club Pick
Named a "Best Book of the Year" by New Statesman , New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Washington Independent Review of Books
Southern Book Prize Finalist
An O, the Oprah Magazine July 2019 Pick
A Publishers Weekly "Pick of the Week"
An Indie Next Selection for July 2019
An Indies Introduce Selection for Summer/Fall 2019
A 2019 Okra Pick

From New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl comes an unusual, captivating portrait of a family--and of the cycles of joy and grief that inscribe human lives within the natural world.

Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents--her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father--and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child's transition to caregiver.

And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds--the natural one and our own--"the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love's own twin."

Gorgeously illustrated by the author's brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.
Publisher: Minneapolis : Milkweed Editions, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781571313782
Characteristics: 231 pages :,colour illustrations, genealogical table ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Renkl, Billy - Illustrator


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Dec 29, 2019

Recommended by MOC, a lovely read

Chapel_Hill_TimL Oct 08, 2019

As a fan of Margaret Renkl's weekly New York Times columns about the natural world, I was looking forward to getting my hands on this, her first collection of essays. It did not disappoint. The book toggles between the author's family history and her observations of the flora and fauna in her half-acre lot in Nashville, all in short, two to three-page pieces. Initially, I was partial to the nature essays, with their close attention to birds, arthropods, nests, weeds, and weather, but as the story of her family history unfolds, I found that thread equally compelling. Ultimately, the two themes intertwine, through her meditations on loss and her habit of close observation. As a friend and fellow enthusiast remarked, she is "the guru of paying attention."

Aug 04, 2019

A book of short essays coupling stories about the author's family history with the wealth of wildlife in her own backyard. Somehow these stories begin to connect. Emotional and funny.

Jul 21, 2019

I am well aware of and have personally seen “the bloodbath that is the natural world.” I do not understand, however, why someone who writes “oh to unsee” would time after time force the reader to see the very images that she wishes to unsee. By page 20 I had “seen” enough.

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