248 pages, b/w illustrations
Born just north of New York City, Edward Kanze traveled as far as the wilds of Australia and New Zealand, working as a naturalist, park ranger, and nature writer, before finally settling in New York's Adirondacks for the riskiest of all life's adventures: marriage and children. Adirondack: Life and Wildlife in the Wild, Wild East tells the story of how he and his wife, Debbie, bought a tumbledown house, rescued it from ruin, started a family, and planted themselves deep in Adirondack soil. Along the way, he brings the unique history of this area to life by sharing stories of his ancestors, who have lived there for generations, and by offering captivating descriptions of the world around him. A keen observer, Kanze will charm readers with his tales of bears, birds, and fluorescent mice.
" [...] a combination of memoir and natural history served up with enthusiasm, wry humor, and a touch of awe [...] Adirondack is an enjoyable read [...] In his thoughtful writing, Kanze reminds us to always cherish the complicated natural world that was here long before the first settlers cut trails and roads into the Adirondack mountains."
– Adirondack Explorer
"Mr. Kanze's way of circling back on himself, wondering if he is crazy to try to live in this place in this way, is oddly reassuring [...] We root for the Kanzes when freezing trees crack like rifle shots all night long, when hard frosts in July and August turn their carefully tended tomato plants to sad mush. We wonder how and why they do it, even as we wonder why we do what we do and live where we live. And we are comforted, knowing such brave and capable people wonder too."
– Wall Street Journal
"Beautifully written and utterly engaging – I savored every incident, every well-wrought sentence."
– Philip G. Terrie, author of Contested Terrain, Second Edition: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks
"Adirondack is an absolute delight. If we were all living like the Kanzes, connected to our extended families, the fellow beings we share the biosphere with, the world would be a much healthier and better place."
– Alex Shoumatoff, contributing editor, Vanity Fair
"This is a heartfelt and meticulously researched journal of a man returning to and immersing himself in his home in the Adirondack Park. Connecting with history, natural history, and a community of people, Kanze places the conflicting nature philosophies of John Muir and John Burroughs into context in a relevant and poignant way."
– Bernd Heinrich, author of The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration
"The book reads almost like a conversation with a friend, a good-hearted, compassionate, maybe a little old-fashioned, wise, and wonderful friend."
– Mary A. Hood, author of Walking Seasonal Roads
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