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Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains
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Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Barbara Hurd continues to give nature writing a human dimension in this final volume of her trilogy that began with Stirring the Mud and Entering the Stone. With prose both eloquent and wise, she examines what washes ashore, from the angel wing shells to broken oars. Even a merman appears in this brilliant collection that throws light on the mysterious and the overlooked.W ...more
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by University of Georgia Press
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"Even driftwood twisted into wooden ghosts, overgrown worms, gnarled and craggy, appeals. The final arbitrator of its form has been friction with the world. It becomes what it is through long travel."

Beautifully written musings focusing on the metaphors found along the wrack line, illustrations to teach us about ourselves and our fellow beings on this mysterious planet.
Kathleen F
I found this book accidentally during a library catalog search on the subject of "walking." It was a serendipitous find--Hurd's essays, about using nature's discarded debris along the shore as metaphors for different aspects of our lives, are both poetic and intensely thoughtful. Through Hurd's eyes and words, such oddities as a broken oar, discarded shells, an empty and cracked pelican egg, driftwood, stones, sea glass, microscopic sand creatures, sea stars, and decaying jellyfish, acquire a fo ...more
When I say that this book is boring, I don't mean it negatively - I mean it neutrally. This book is the opposite of interesting.

Perhaps I'm too young to appreciate its charm, but I felt like no essay had fully 'arrived'. And instead, I got a substitution for that arrival of epiphany - someone else's words or a quote from someone else as a weak substitution of what the author needed to figure in her own words. In my book, that's kind of inexcusable, unoriginal, and -dare I be a middle schooler-
Barbara Hurd has done something wonderful here, something elegant and penetrating and absolutely riveting. Using the wrack line as her guide, its inhabitants as her muses, Hurd writes out a sometimes melancholy, always graceful interlocking series of essays certainly worth your while.
Wherever the sea---like others' wants---begins to encroach, there's evidence of scrimmage. Here, crab claws and feathers, fraying rope and shredded kelp, an unended dory and a man I avoid because he wants to talk ag
who hasn't walked a beach and right where the tide stops investigated the objects washed ashore in all their varied strewn configurations. a haphazard assemblage of the living and the used and the dead and the treasured. surely we think about our lives upon picking up a shell and turning it over in the palm of our hands or finding someone's sunglasses scraped by the constant motion of wave and sand. what does the wrack line tell us about ourselves, what we value, how we chose to live? i especial ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mike, Megan
Recommended to Elizabeth by: NPR
Really lovely. I probably read it too quickly to really absorb everything. The book is comprised of observations at the sea's edge and the author's meditations on her own life.

A better review is available from NPR's website, as well as an excerpt from the book.
This is a lovely little book from a very underrated nature writer (kudos to my alma mater for having the good sense to publish her work). It's a collection of essays about her musings and memories as she walks the shore, and each one seems to absorb the gentle cadence and rhythm of waves and tides. Profound but not pedantic or preachy, and a swift but very memorable read.
Aug 07, 2011 Betty added it
I read this beautifully written collection of contemplative essays slowly, savoring each one. I borrowed it from the public library, but it deserves a permanent place in my library to read again and again.
Dec 04, 2008 Andrea marked it as to-read
Written by my dad's wife. Just started it but am enjoying the attention to the details of nature she includes.
Lynne Griffin
A slim volume of reflections reminiscent of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's A Gift from the Sea. Lovely.
Bailed out about 6 essays in. Sincere, simple but for me it rang hollow and I couldn't keep at it.
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Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs, and Human Imagination Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling Through the Dark The Singer's Temple Not Now, I'm Knitting: Sweaters, Shawls, Vests, and Other Patterns in Classic and Contemporary Styles Soulful Knitting: Gifts for the Soul, from the Soul

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