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Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  386 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Whether she is writing about bats, bees, procupines, or wolves, contemplating the mysteries of caves, or delving into the traditions, beliefs, and myths of Native American cultures, Linda Hogan expresses a deep reverence for the dwelling we all share--the Earth. 16 line drawings.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 17th 1996 by Touchstone Books (first published 1995)
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Sep 09, 2007 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What they call "deceptively simple" - Hogan's prose is like her poetry: every word counts, every line works off the lines around it, and she has a spiritual investment in each word and how her words create and communicate ... every single essay here is a prayer for wholeness and reparation.
Jan 05, 2009 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this book, which is so beautifully and gracefully written. Linda Hogan's prose is indeed filled with poetic language, in which she reminds us of our connectedness to the natural world, of the natural world's connectedness to the spiritual and mythic world, and that every action, however small and insignificant to us, has the most profound effect on others. So here, not only are we humans and animals alive; the mountains, the trees, the water are also alive, and contain me ...more
Aug 02, 2008 Rae rated it it was amazing
One of the best sets of essays I have ever read. Hogan uses tremendous imagery here, just like in her poetry. I especially loved the essay on bats.

...they live with the goddess of night in the lusty mouth of earth...

...bending over the stone, smelling the earth up close, we drank sky off the surface of water...
Amber Foxx
Apr 05, 2014 Amber Foxx rated it it was amazing
Poet and novelist Hogan, a member of the Chickasaw tribe, writes of the spirituality inherent in the natural world. Her insights into the relationships between living creatures and our own souls is anchored in places and in specific experiences—with hot springs in a cave, or at work at a bird sanctuary. She doesn’t write about animals in general or earth in general, but this piece of earth, this particular sunflower, this colony of mud-building bees. When she cites other writers, often scientist ...more
Monique Stevens
Aug 23, 2016 Monique Stevens rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, simply beautiful! Hogan's reflections on nature are part prose, part poetry. I will be re-visiting this book again.
Oct 02, 2016 Erica rated it really liked it
Shelves: environmental
Poets write good prose.
Gail Kennon
beautiful meditation on life on this planet.
Bonnie Randall
Mar 07, 2016 Bonnie Randall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Dwellings is a deep piece of wisdom literature I’ll return to again and again for its reflections will widen and shift the lens upon every new life stage and major transition I experience. Hogan conveys a reverent appreciation for the Earth and all the Earth has given birth to, has nourished, and has reclaimed. Her prose illustrates, with great beauty, the deep, spiritual tie all living creatures have with the Earth, and what results is a reading experience that is both meditative and emotive. D ...more
Laurence Holden
Jan 03, 2014 Laurence Holden rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, culture
wonderful book of reminiscences from a native American writer. full of connecting with nature and being embedded in it.She writes:"Still wanting a place of our own, a place set aside from the rest of the creation, now it is being ventured that maybe our ability to make fire separates us, or perhaps the desire to seek revenge. But no matter what direction the quest for separation might take, there has been a narrowing down of the difference between species, and we are forced to ask ourselves once ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
I really loved the poetic language that Hogan used in Dwellings. It is different from a lot of novels I have read and I appreciated this uniqueness! One of my favorite things about this novel was learning the random bits of fact that were woven into Hogan's essays. I learned about the Voyager, research with chimps, and various Indian histories that I would never have known about if I hadn't read this book.

One issue I had, but this is totally a personal issue, was that the novel bit too out ther
Oct 14, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
The author of this book experiences an incredibly, and enviably, intimate relationship with the natural world. This is evidenced by the fact that everything around her--color, sound, smell, texture--comes alive. A tree is not simply a tree; it has a name, it has details, it has meaning. The writing is poetic and concise. The world she paints is detailed, it is immediate, but she also reaches out beyond it to make grand connections.
May 04, 2016 Saba rated it really liked it
A poetic book. Reminded me why nature is important to me. I take classes about the economic, political, and social goods that a healthy environment provides, but it's refreshing to meditate on the spiritual good it brings as well. A nice reminder and a welcome break from analytical environmental studies.
Mar 04, 2016 Eli rated it it was amazing
I feel like I've been waiting for many years for this book to come into my life. Or maybe I just needed to be ready. Its beauty, at once both sparse and detail-laden, became apparent immediately, but its deeper environmental, cultural, and personal impacts crept on slowly, like changing seasons. So much to think on, act on, and come back to time and again.
Bill Blocksom
Oct 14, 2014 Bill Blocksom rated it it was amazing
I have not read anything so poetic before. So many of the images she conveys stir me on a very deep level: heart, soul, and deeper . Perhaps ancestral memory. I feel changed by it in ways that are still unfolding. Thank you, Linda Hogan.
Jul 20, 2016 karina rated it it was amazing
This collection of essays was profoundly transformative for me. It moved me to reflect upon the vagaries of several aspects of life that I did not expect. It is poetry in its most honest and unpretentious expression.
Dwellings is a beautiful and lyrical book of wonder. The prose resonates something inside you that might have laid dormant since you were a child. Hogan's style is sheer poetry that reminds us how interconnected we all are and makes us ask ourselves if we are walking on the right path.
Apr 27, 2011 Ashley rated it did not like it
Shelves: academic
Probably one of the most painful books I've read in an AIS course - and not in a good way either. Certainly not Hogan's best work, considering some of her fantastic poetry and novels.
Sue Reetz
Mar 23, 2013 Sue Reetz rated it it was amazing
An elegant portrayal of Linda Hogan's philosophies and knowledge of the natural world, and our species' connection to and impact on all around us.
May 31, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
I love words that paint pictures. When those pictures play my heartstrings, I grow. This book did that, perfectly, and encouraged me to live my life with my eyes... And heart... More open.
Oct 11, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it
Lovely! Light and lyrical, yet deeply profound. Hogan shares personal heartfelt simple experiences with the wisdom of a deeper knowing.
Mar 06, 2014 Xylem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indigenous, eco
This is a book full of ancestors, waters, caves, and creatures. The earth speaks, sings, through this woman. Listen deeply. To be read aloud to children, lovers, and the sky.
Rachel B
Rachel B rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2014
Jennifer Adair
Jennifer Adair rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2014
Drucilla rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2007
Jeffrey Thouron
Jeffrey Thouron rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2016
Tracy rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2015
Kaitlin Rothberger
Kaitlin Rothberger rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2014
Edward rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2008
Catie Bloomfield
Catie Bloomfield rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2009
Clare rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2007
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Linda K. Hogan (born 1947 Denver) is a Native American poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, environmentalist and writer of short stories. She is currently the Chickasaw Nation's Writer in Residence.

Linda Hogan is Chickasaw. Her father is a Chickasaw from a recognized historical family and Linda's uncle, Wesley Henderson, helped form the White Buffalo Council in Denver during the 1950
More about Linda Hogan...

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“Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” 108 likes
“John Hay, in The Immortal Wilderness, has written: 'There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil, but you have to be willing to wait and receive.' Sometimes I hear it talking. The light of the sunflower was one language, but there are others more audible. Once, in the redwood forest, I heard a beat, something like a drum or a heart coming from the ground and trees and wind. That underground current stirred a kind of knowing inside me, a kinship and longing, a dream barely remembered that disappeared back to the body....

Tonight, I walk. I am watching the sky. I think of the people who came before me and how they knew the placement of the stars in the sky, watching the moving sun long and hard enough to witness how a certain angle of light touched a stone only once a year. Without written records, they knew the gods of every night, the small, fine details of the world around them and the immensity above them.

Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating....It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”
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