In The Small Heart of Things, Julian Hoffman
intimately examines the myriad ways in which connections to the
natural world can be deepened through an equality of perception,
whether it's a caterpillar carrying its house of leaves,
transhumant shepherds ranging high mountain pastures, a quail
taking cover on an empty steppe, or a Turkmen family emigrating
from Afghanistan to Istanbul. The narrative spans the common-and
often contested-ground that supports human and natural communities
alike, seeking the unsung stories that sustain us.
Guided by the belief of Rainer Maria Rilke that "everything beckons
us to perceive it," Hoffman explores the area around the Prespa
Lakes, the first transboundary park in the Balkans, shared by
Greece, Albania, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
From there he travels widely to regions rarely written about,
exploring the idea that home is wherever we happen to be if we
accord that place our close and patient attention.
The Small Heart of Things is a book about looking and
listening. It incorporates travel and natural history writing that
interweaves human stories with those of wild creatures.
Distinguished by Hoffman's belief that through awareness,
curiosity, and openness we have the potential to forge abiding
relationships with a range of places, it illuminates how these many
connections can teach us to be at home in the world.
Subjects: History, Biological Sciences
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