Author: Bill Belleville
ISBN 978-1-60264-131-0 (softcover)
Nature writer Bill Belleville takes us behind the scenes of a PBS documentary via kayak, boat, and hiking trail as he and his fellow filmmakers come to better understand how the St. Johns has historically shaped culture and "sense of place" over time. They do so by recreating a river journey that Pulitzer prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings once made on the St. Johns in 1933. Chronicled in the "Hyacinth Drift" chapter of Cross Creek, the original sojourn took Rawlings and her cracker neighbor Dessie Smith out on the river for ten days. At one point, they became so lost that the drift of the floating water hyacinth was their only navigational clue.
In the modern voyage, two women recreate the trip by following the historic route from below Puzzle Lake, beyond lakes Harney, Jesup, Monroe, Dexter, and George, up into the Ocklawaha River. Along the way, the modern sojourners come to understand how the river still has the capacity to allow a connection. Despite the vanishing paradise of the place once known as "La Florida", enough wilderness remains to let nature reach out and touch the soul. The process is revealed to us in a colorful narrative that is both descriptive and lyrical.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning writer Bill Belleville has authored four books, over 1,000 essays and articles, and scripted documentaries for PBS and NPR's "Living on Earth." His bylines have appeared in Sierra, Outside, New York Times Syndicate, Oxford American, Salon, and has traveled on assignment to the White Sea of Russia, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and into the Amazon. His most recent nonfiction, "Losing It All To Sprawl" was named one of the "Best Books of 2006" by the Library Journal. His book River of Lakes was described as the "definitive" work on the St. Johns by the Miami Herald. Author Carl Hiaasen has written: "Bill Belleville writes gorgeously and straight from the heart," while Diane Roberts compares his work to that of naturalist William Bartram and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. He co-produced and Scripted "In Marjorie's Wake."
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