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IN SEARCH OF SPACE: Journeys In Wild Places - ROSS BROWNSCOMBE

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Wild places are everywhere: distinctive, idiosyncratic, unique. And rare. Unfortunately, in Australia, opportunities for reading imaginative, lyrical, non fiction prose – nature writing – that explores the poetry and magic of wild places are also rare. In Search Of Space: Journeys In Wild Places attempts to rectify that. In the great nature writing tradition of Peter Matthiessen, Barry Lopez and Edward Abbey, these essays are part travelogue, part memoir, sometimes provocative, always lyrical and engaging.

 

IN SEARCH OF SPACE: Journeys In Wild Places - ROSS BROWNSCOMBE

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Nature writing in the tradition of its best practitioners such as Peter Mattheissen, Barry Lopez and Edward Abbey is a virtually unknown genre in Australia. Part travelogue, part memoir, nature writing is meditative and personal. In Search Of Space is all these things. A collection of essays about journeys made by Ross Brownscombe in wild places, mostly in Australia but also in what he calls his 'spiritual home', Alaska. Sometimes alone, mostly with his wife and children, whether exploring the work of American nature writer Edward Abbey on a raft trip down the Franklin River or extolling the virtues of solo hiking in wild places, these essays are idiosyncratic reports of encounters with wild places and they all have one thing in common - exploration: of landscape, ideas, self, family.

With a foreword by Bob Brown, this diverse and inspired collection showcases Brownscombe's signature style -- intimate, occasionally provocative, lyrical. His curiosity takes him from the canyons of his beloved Blue Mountains to the Central Australian desert where he makes a surprise discovery. He records an encounter on a cold, lonely landscape with a mysterious woman who is not what she seems and in Southwest Tasmania confronts the burden of extinction. He and his wife spend their honeymoon floating down a wild river in Alaska on a sixteen day journey of a lifetime and fifteen years later they reprise the journey on a different Alaskan river with their two young children. This time they get closer to wildness than any of them had ever bargained for.

In Search Of Space is a rare chance 'to step boldly into the provinces of imagination and emotion, into places where trees and animals become fellow beings and old friends. Out in the wild, this fraternity is easy to believe in. It can be found; it can be followed.'

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