A Walk in the Woods (UK Edition) by Bill Bryson

By Bill Bryson

UK Edition

The longest non-stop footpath on this planet, the Appalachian path stretches alongside the East Coast of the USA, from Georgia to Maine, via probably the most arresting and celebrated landscapes in the USA. on the age of forty-four, within the corporation of his buddy Stephen Katz (last obvious within the bestselling Neither right here nor There), invoice Bryson trigger to hike in the course of the tremendous tangled woods that have been scary brilliant humans for 3 hundred years. forward lay nearly 2,200 miles of distant mountain desert full of bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, toxic crops, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling assassin and - might be so much alarming of all - humans whose favorite hobby is discussing the relative benefits of the external-frame backpack. dealing with savage climate, cruel bugs, unreliable maps and a fickle significant other whose profoundest want used to be to visit a inn and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled during the desert to accomplish a lifetime's ambition - to not die open air.

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This work is not an "imaginary autobiography," though it takes some slight liberty with a few scenes and names. But "veracity"? I know something of the cunning of desire, duplicity of memoration. Against these, we can only summon the will to authenticity, in mutual trust. Page xi Acknowledgments The first chapter of this work appeared, rather differently, in the Kenyon Review (Summer 1983) and the second appeared, in an earlier, shorter form, in SubStance 37/38 (Winter-Spring 1983). My appreciation endures for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and for the Vilas Trust Estate: their support has made this, as earlier, writing an integral part of my work.

She was pretty, vain of her youth as a mother, tight this side of parsimony, less curious than my father and less eager to please. She prized ambition more than learning, honored tenacity in the world. What, then, did I receive from her? A certain grimness of purpose? Or did I come to value what she disprized: knowledge, generosity in all its forms? And why must we obscurely pit parent against parent, and so violate our trust, our life? As for my uncles, they were an outrageous bunch, more truculent on my father's side; spendthrift and ge- Page 20 nial, rather unlike my mother, on hers.

Walter Benjamin Reflections Page 1 1 Beginnings and Ends On a burning August afternoon in 1946, brisk wind and salt of the Mediterranean on my lips, I boarded the Abraham Lincoln at Port Said and sailed from Egypt, never to return. My father gave me a gold Movado wristwatch, and waved me goodbye from a bobbing white launch. I waved back, not daring to shout or speak. Churning tugs nosed the battered Liberty Ship into the seaways. I saw the town, the minarets, the high cupola of the Compagnie de Suez, recede.

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