Restless Essays of Coming and Going
- PUBLISHED: February 2018
- SUBJECT LISTING: Literature / Creative Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir, Pacific Northwest
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 240 Pages, 5 x 8 in, 0 illustrations
- ISBN: 9780295743226
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
For many years, Ana Maria Spagna has stayed put, mostly, in a small mountain valley at the head of a glacier-carved lake. You’re so lucky to live there, people say. She is lucky. But she is also restless. In Uplake she takes road trips, flies to distant cities, fantasizes about other people’s lives, and then returns home again to muse on rootedness, yearning, commitment, ambition, wonder, and love. These engaging, reflective essays celebrate the richness of it all: winter floods and summer fires, the roar of a chainsaw and a fiddle in the wilderness, long hikes and open-water swims, an injured bear, a lost wedding ring, and a tree in the middle of a river. Uplake reminds us to love what we have while encouraging us to still imagine what we want.
Authors & Contributors
Ana Maria Spagna is the author of several books, including Reclaimers and Potluck: Community on the Edge of Wilderness. She lives in Stehekin, Washington.
Rarely can you say with a shard of truth that you remember the first time a writer’s work hit you in the head and the heart with a nearly audible slap, but I remember the first time I read a passage from Ana Maria—it was in a magazine in which all the other stuff was careful and remote and only news, and her essay was sharp and blunt and had mud and sawdust in it. I remember that. I learned from her essay, yes, but it wasn’t just information; I could smell the place she was writing about, I could feel her sinewy flinty impatient passion for it.- Brian Doyle, Ecotone
Like her stories of swimming, hiking, flying, running, and driving, this collection is a moving—in more than one sense of the word—meditation. In her exploration, and ours, of how to find the way through. On how, in the long days but short years of living, to have a life of wonder.- Arielle Silver, Brevity
These vivid essays are powerfully rooted in the physical landscape and the body's capacities and limitations. Nature and narrator perform a graceful dance of advance-and-retreat, a pas de deux filled with tenderness, wisdom and rueful insight.- Phillip Lopate, author of A Mother's Tale
A quintessential collection of place-based personal essays, as well as a moving evocation of the Stehekin Valley. Uplake is, above all, a self-portrait of an engaged, lively mind.- Nick Neely, author of Coast Range
Uplake stands out for its honesty, accessibility, willingness to dig deep in contemplation, and well-wrought essays about the small self in a large world.- Susan Marsh, author of A Hunger for High Country: One Woman's Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country
I have never wielded a chainsaw, brined an elk steak, chased a wildfire or even spent a night in a tent, but I loved and devoured every sentence of Ana Maria Spagna's Uplake. Each part of the book, with scene work and wise observations, showcases what only the very best personal essays can achieve: they present a vivid life experienced far from that of the average reader in a manner that pulls the two people on either side of the page closer together, nearer to a shared understanding of what it means both to exist and to consider the wide world when doing so.- Elena Passarello, author of Animals Strike Curious Poses