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A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World

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3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Warning: This is not your parents’ nature writing! A distinctly contemporary take on the genre, A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise features original essays by twenty gifted writers, all thirty and under, whose strong and diverse voices redefine nature writing for the twenty-first century.
Editor Bonnie Tsui’s cast of accomplished contributors wrestle with integrating natu
...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Sierra Club Books
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Greg Goodrum
Nov 08, 2012 Greg Goodrum rated it liked it
As with most collections, different selections will strike readers differently, and this is no exception. I really enjoyed Tim Neville's ode to moving into a tent while in a fit of high school angst, Nate Johnson's paddling thoughts, and James Prosek's refreshingly readable natural history short on the world of eels. Most other authors I found enjoyable, but with less hook than the above mentioned authors. The only story that I did not enjoy was Nicole Davis' road trip tale that really just stru ...more
Rashaan
Every year, if one's lucky enough to call themselves a Composition instructor she is tasked with the Herculean challenge of hooking classrooms full of incoming freshman into the written word. We feel as if we have one shot and one shot only to bait and reel these squirrely minds into the power of language. The bait used this fall was the Sierra Club's latest collection A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World, edited by Bonnie Tsui. From explo ...more
Gavin Hribar
Jan 24, 2016 Gavin Hribar rated it it was amazing
cool essays on outdoorsy topics as well as general life reflections. very well written and by 20 somethings so it's easy to connect with them.
Cynthia
May 30, 2008 Cynthia rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, nature
I liked how it was about people relating to nature even in places the most distanced from it, but the writing was somewhat a deal breaker for me. High quality teen essays are still teen essays and as a result a lot of them had that college-admission-essay feel to it that seemed strained.

Still an excellent collection though, even though I didn't appreciate it myself, and definitely worth checking out if you are interested in this sort of nature writing at all.
Ruth Feathers
Aug 29, 2016 Ruth Feathers rated it really liked it
Nice collection of essays.
Monica
Aug 17, 2009 Monica rated it liked it
I didn't finish it, but I probably won't read all of the essays in here. Particularly liked the ones on the boy who lived outside his parents' house in a tent, the self-described sissy who goes camping (at the Radical Faerie sanctuary in Tennessee) for the first time, and the man who swam from Alcatraz to SF.

I skipped several of the essays, though -- just couldn't get into them.
Lisa
Sep 17, 2007 Lisa rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book is lighthearted, and perfect for how I'm feeling about nature and the world right now. There's so much beauty and adventure out there that we just need to get out and see, do, touch, feel!
Tim
Mar 15, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it
Being a total outdoors geek, this was a great book. There were some stories I liked better than others. For the most part though, they all had merit. A must read for fellow outdoor geeks.
cece
Aug 12, 2009 cece rated it it was ok
Shelves: readshelf
this only gets two stars because there are about two stories in this that are worthwhile reading. The rest reads like badly coached high school english essays.
Keleigh
Sep 02, 2007 Keleigh marked it as to-read
The SN&R Arts Editor, Jonathan Kiefer, has a piece in here...And he missed the Level 1 workshop to do a public reading from it. :)
Lauren Tamraz
Jan 15, 2008 Lauren Tamraz rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: november-2007
a great anthology of travel writing all by people under the age of 30-- no flashy hotels, tons of cash, or safety nets involved.
LINDA
Jun 10, 2008 LINDA rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Outdoor Enthusiasts
This book is a compilation of short stories by 20 different young writers.

I will report more when I have finished.
Kate
Apr 03, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book - especially the essay about the canoe trip to the Arctic.
Tiffany
Jan 29, 2008 Tiffany rated it really liked it
featuring an essay by Lilith Wood
Matthew
Oct 26, 2008 Matthew rated it it was amazing
a triumph!
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Bonnie Tsui is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. A former editor at Travel + Leisure, she has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Mother Jones, and Conde Nast Traveller. She is the author of American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, and the editor of A Leaky Tent Is a Piece of Paradise, a collection of essays on the outdoors. She is also a recipient of the Radcliffe T ...more
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