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By Miranda Weiss

"Miranda Weiss's Tide, Feather, Snow is superbly poetic, her observations are expansive, and the speed and rhythm during which she writes are perfect.” — Lynne Cox, writer of Grayson and Swimming to Antarctica

"Tide, Feather, Snow is ready the resplendence and subtleties of coastal Alaska, and approximately one woman’s try and be totally found in them. Weiss serves as a talented and poetic witness to a spot present process incessant change." — Anthony Doerr, writer of The Shell Collector

A memoir of relocating to Alaska—and staying—by a author whose present for writing approximately position and ordinary attractiveness is equivalent to John McPhee (Coming into the Country) and Jonathan Raban (Passage to Juneau).

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On a daily basis is a parade of stuff into the nation: doughnuts, shoes, motor vehicle tires, lumber. because the snow melted away that spring, the query rung out: the place did all of it turn out? Landfills swelled, backyards crammed, warehouses restocked, homes shot up on cleared slopes. In early summer time, it was once challenging to not loathe the coming of rather a lot gear: RVs the dimensions of eighteen-wheelers towing glossy SUVs, trailers spilling out four-wheelers, vehicles trailering thirty-foot fishing boats. Like seeds set to the breeze, tents have been strewn around the Spit, sprouting fireplace pits, parked condominium vehicles, driftwood and tarp constructions that struggled opposed to the wind. every year, a couple of took root and stayed. It was once irresistible the urge to enclose ourselves with what we knew, what we owned, what we received and created. lately, I’d complained to John approximately no longer having a place for my books, the few knickknacks I’d introduced with me or lately amassed. whilst I’d moved to Alaska, I had deserted my meager quantity of furniture—scrounged from backyard revenues and friends—and as an alternative introduced basically what i may hold in a backpack and luggage I’d loaded onto the ferry. With so few issues of my very own round, lifestyles felt transitory, like a condo. So, i began amassing: rocks formed like squares, small grey seashore pebbles smoothed by means of the ocean, gull vertebrae scrubbed via surf, driftwood sculpted into exciting kinds. I coated the windowsills and sought after extra space. i assumed if I had my very own spot for my very own issues, it will possibly make my existence the following appear much less provisional. Over the wintry weather, John had inspired me to construct a small bookshelf utilizing the landlord’s store and scrap wooden he’d salvaged. John confirmed me how you can use a desk observed, round observed, jigsaw, and router. The shelf emerged as a stunted piece of furnishings, made to slot less than a window, and impractically brief for wherever else. I’d cast off the shelf many years later, one other piece of junk that moved via my palms after which out of sight. if you happen to thought of it lengthy sufficient, it can make you weep or consider in poor health for your belly: We have been ruining the very factor we’d all moved right here for. We have been bringing in a lot stuff, our footprint used to be continually spreading into areas the place no human improvement had existed sooner than. We have been clearing land for extra refuse: for structures that may rot away inside a new release or ; for point land on which to park autos that may finally holiday down and collapse; to elevate up garage devices to carry issues we infrequently used. builders felled timber, scraped the rolling panorama flat, subdivided, hauled in truckloads of gravel for an entry street, and planted an indication: PANORAMIC VISTA: NATURE OUT YOUR entrance DOOR. As with existence anyplace else, the rubble of our lives held our histories. You couldn’t supply Dungeness crab or shrimp pots away anymore, in order that they piled in yards as proof of busted fisheries, an ocean altering quicker than people’s skill to omit. A mechanical clam digger with wheels greater than six toes excessive sat rusting within the mudflats at the Spit for years.

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