“Deep Woods, Wild Waters”

Toward the end of his latest book, Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), Douglas Wood writes that his "has been a lucky life." The humblebrag is a fair one: Wood is the author of the popular Old Turtle series (either children's books or deep ecological cosmology, or both—take your pick) and a lifelong explorer of the rivers and lakes of the North Woods. Somehow, he managed to cobble together a living as an itinerant singer and writer and wilderness guide—good work, if you can get it. From the first page, he is in an epistolary mode. This is no straightforward account of a life's events, but a twisting current of memory, stories looping back and forth just like the glacier-carved maze of Wood's beloved Voyageur's Highway—the cold waters once navigated by the Ojibwe and, later, French trappers. At times, the spiritual instruction is a bit much. But there's a lot of humor here, too, like Wood's hilarious celebration of the campfire coffeepot. His insights are honest and hard-earned. Story, he reminds us, "is creating a connection to another living being," whether spouse or grandchild or spruce or loon.
Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir
Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir

Toward the end of his latest book, Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), Douglas Wood writes that his “has been a lucky life.” The humblebrag is a fair one: Wood is the author of the popular Old Turtle series (either children’s books or deep ecological cosmology, or both—take your pick) and a lifelong explorer of the rivers and lakes of the North Woods. Somehow, he managed to cobble together a living as an itinerant singer and writer and wilderness guide—good…

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