The Last American Man

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408806878


Page: 288

View: 4180

At the age of seventeen, Eustace Conway ditched the comforts of his suburban existence to escape to the wild. Away from the crushing disapproval of his father, he lived alone in a teepee in the mountains. Everything he needed he built, grew or killed. He made his clothes from deer he killed and skinned before using their sinew as sewing thread. But he didn't stop there. In the years that followed, he stopped at nothing in pursuit of bigger, bolder challenges. He travelled the Mississippi in a handmade wooden canoe; he walked the two-thousand-mile Appalachian Trail; he hiked across the German Alps in trainers; he scaled cliffs in New Zealand. One Christmas, he finished dinner with his family and promptly upped and left - to ride his horse across America. From South Carolina to the Pacific, with his little brother in tow, they dodged cars on the highways, ate road kill and slept on the hard ground. Now, more than twenty years on, Eustace is still in the mountains, residing in a thousand-acre forest where he teaches survival skills and attempts to instil in people a deeper appreciation of nature. But over time he has had to reconcile his ambitious dreams with the sobering realities of modernity. Told with Elizabeth Gilbert's trademark wit and spirit, this is a fascinating, intimate portrait of an endlessly complicated man: a visionary, a narcissist, a brilliant but flawed modern hero. The Last American Man is an unforgettable adventure story of an irrepressible life lived to the extreme. The Last American Man is a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist.

The Last American Hero

Author: Alice L. George

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

ISBN: 1641602163

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 2311

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became a national star. That morning at Cape Canaveral, a small-town boy from Ohio took his place atop a rocket and soared into orbit to score a victory in the heavily contested Cold War. The television images were blurry black-and-white phantoms. The cameras shook as the rocket moved, but by the end of the day, one thing was clear: a new hero rode that rocket and became the center of the world's attention for the four hours and fifty-five minutes of his flight. He became celebrated in all corners of the world as not just the first American to orbit the Earth, but as the first space traveler to take the human race with him. From that day forward, Glenn restively wore the hero label. Wherever he went, people knew his name and what he had done. Refusing to let that dramatic day define his life, he went on to become a four-term US senator—and returned to space at the age of seventy-seven. The Last American Hero examines the many layers that formed the man and unravels the reasons for his singular role. He was a creation of the media, in some ways, but he was also a product of the Cold War. Not even Glenn himself seemed to fully understand his celebrity. He was a war hero, a two-time astronaut, a veteran senator, a devoted husband, a father, and much more. At a time when increasingly cynical Americans need heroes, his aura burns brightly in American memory.

Eat, Pray, Love

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0747585660

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 349

View: 9206

The Number One international bestseller, Eat, Pray Love is a journey around the world, a quest for spiritual enlightenment and a story for anyone who has battled with divorce, depression and heartbreak.

The Last American Painter

Author: Steven Johnson Leyba


ISBN: 0982173571


Page: 361

View: 6630

Off the Grid

Author: Nick Rosen

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101456396

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 7235

A look inside the subculture of off-grid living, taking readers across the ideological spectrum and across America Written by a leading authority on living off the grid, this is a fascinating and timely look at one of the fastest growing movements in America. In researching the stories that would become Off the Grid, Nick Rosen traveled from one end of the United States to the other, spending time with all kinds of individuals and families striving to live their lives the way they want to-free from dependence on municipal power and amenities, and free from the inherent dependence on the government and its far-reaching arms. While the people profiled may not have a lot in common in terms of their daily lives or their personal background, what they do share is an understanding of how unique their lives are, and how much effort and determination is required to maintain the lifestyle in the face of modern America's push toward connectivity and development.


Author: Mark Allister,Mark Christopher Allister

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

ISBN: 9780813923055

Category: Social Science

Page: 277

View: 2402

The paradoxical role nature plays in American myth and history grows in part from the male’s reverent fascination with the wilderness and his equally strong impulse to dominate it. Many canonical literary works—think of Thoreau, Melville, Hemingway, Faulkner—look to the wild as the site for establishing a man’s selfhood. But nature is just as often subjected to his most violent displays of mastery. This tension lies at the heart of Eco-Man, which brings together two rapidly growing fields: men’s studies and ecocriticism. The two disciplines have rarely if ever touched on each other; brought together, men’s studies is freed from its typical limitation of an exclusively urban-centered perspective, while ecocriticism engages an "ecomasculine" lens through which to view the field. The book’s contents are diverse, but the contributors all challenge our idea of masculinity as merely the social code of patriarchy. By complicating our cultural notions of nature and masculinity, the volume’s twenty essays question whether we can construct a notion of manhood around ecological principles and practices—and if so, what this would look like, and how it would enrich men’s studies. The varied assembly of contributors to Eco-Man—including historians, philosophers, poets, both male and female—have all written with the general reader in mind. The result is a book as approachable as it is groundbreaking. Contributors:John Tallmadge * Gretchen Legler * Mark Allister * Scott Russell Sanders * Thomas R. Smith * Scott Slovic * Alvin Handelman * David Copland Morris * Rick Fairbanks * Cheryll Glotfelty * Barton Sutter * James Barilla * Timothy Young * O. Alan Weltzien * Julia Martin * Patrick D. Murphy * Jim Heynen * Lilace Mellin Guignard * Stephen J. Mexal * Ken Lamberton * James J. Farrell

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Works

Author: Geoff Hamilton,Brian Jones

Publisher: Infobase Publishing

ISBN: 143812970X

Category: American fiction

Page: 433

View: 1447

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Work is an invaluable guide to the work of English-language fiction writers born since 1960. Coverage includes some of the most vital and appealing writers working today, such as Chang-rae Lee, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, and Dave Eggers. Containing more than 200 entries written by literary scholars, this resource provides a comprehensive overview of the best writers and works of the current English-Speaking literary world.

The American Adrenaline Narrative

Author: Kristin J. Jacobson

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 0820357189

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 318

View: 8138

"The attempt to understand the desires related to radical, risky acts like climbing to 29,028 feet as well as the everyday participation in and fascination with extreme lifestyles lays at the heart of this book and the extreme adventure narratives it studies. The American Adrenaline Narrative identifies and examines such stories' desiring natures and considers how perilous outdoor adventure tales, what the author terms "adrenaline narratives," simultaneously promote and hinder ecological sustainability. To explore these interdepended desires, the manuscript defines and compares adrenaline narratives by a range of American authors writing after the first Earth Day in 1970, selected as a crucial watershed for the contemporary American environmental movement and for cultures of the extreme. The forty-plus years since the first Earth Day mark the rise in the popularity and marketing of all things extreme-including sports, jobs, travel, beverages, gum, makeovers, laundry detergent, and even the environmental movement itself. This book and the term "adrenaline narrative" provide a classification for and analysis of the rapidly growing and wildly popular collection of narratives-primarily nonfiction, autobiographical, or biographical accounts-focused on extreme sports, lifestyle, and travel that emerge into the popular consciousness during a time of environmental activism that, like the adrenaline narratives themselves, range from conservative to radical acts. While literary or artistic merit, as a result, is not Jacobson's primary impetus for identifying and studying adrenaline narratives, attention to narrative form plays a key role in understanding their ecological messages and the ways the accounts deftly exploit form to craft suspenseful, page-turning exploits. The author's methods to map the American eco-imagination via adrenaline narratives are grounded in the traditional literary practice of close reading analysis and in ecofeminism. The book surveys a range of popular and lesser-known primary texts by American authors, including bestselling books-such as Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Aron Ralston's Between a Rock and a Hard Place-and lesser-known and read texts-such as Patricia C. McCairen's Canyon Solitude, Eddy L. Harris's Mississippi Solo, and Stacy Allison's Beyond the Limits. Jacobson primarily focuses on book-length nonfiction narratives; however, adrenaline narratives may also be found in print and online articles and magazines, feature length and short films, television shows, amateur videos, social networking sites, fiction, advertising, and blogs. Jacobson contends that these stories-whatever their format-comprise a distinctive genre because-unlike traditional nature, travel, and sports writing-adrenaline narratives sustain heightened risk or the element of the "extreme" within a natural setting. Additionally, reading these narratives as a separate genre provides important insight into the American environmental imagination's connection to masculinity and adventure"--

The Complete Elizabeth Gilbert

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 140881790X

Category: Fiction

Page: 1332

View: 9641

For the first time the complete works of the award-winning author Elizabeth Gilbert are collected together, highlighting her talents as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. In the international best-seller Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert narrates her struggles after a bitter divorce and turbulent love affair, beginning her quest to rediscover how to be happy. In Rome, she indulges herself and gains nearly two stone. In India, she finds enlightenment through scrubbing temple floors. Finally, in Bali a toothless medicine man reveals a new path to peace, leaving her ready to find love again. In Committed, Gilbert is about to wed the man she fell in love with at the end of Eat, Pray, Love and with wit and intelligence contemplates marriage, trying with all her might to discover what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. In The Last American Man, Gilbert presents a fascinating, intimate portrait of the American naturalist and brilliant modern hero Eustace Conway, who at the age of seventeen ditched the comforts of his suburban existence to escape into the wild. Attempting to instil in people a deeper appreciation of nature, Conway stops at nothing in pursuit of bigger, bolder adventures. In Gilbert's first novel Stern Men, the eighteen-year-old irredeemably unromantic Ruth Thomas returns home from boarding school determined to join the 'stern-men'. Throwing her education overboard, this feisty and unforgettable American heroine helps work the lobster boats and brushes up on her profanity, eventually falling for a handsome young lobsterman. In Pilgrims, Gilbert's sharply drawn and tenderly observed collection of twelve short stories, tough heroes and heroines, hardened by their experiences, struggle for their epiphanies and seek companionship as fiercely as they can.

Memories of the Moderns

Author: Harry Levin

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 9780811207331

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 257

View: 4507

Part criticism, part memoirs, selected prose pieces--including reviews, essays, lectures, introductions, personal reminiscences, and epistles-explore the concept of modernism within the international frame of comparative literature