Casting Quiet Waters

Un libro in lingua di MacDonald Jake (EDT) edito da Greystone Books, 2014

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Casting Quiet Waters is an anthology of freshly written character-driven essays by some of North America’s most respected literary writers. Each author will take us on a fishing trip and use that as an opportunity to explore issues of the human condition. A little more than five centuries ago (1496) an odd English nun named Dame Juliana Berners (?The Prioress of St. Albans”) wrote the first book about fishing. Her obscure but legendary tome A Treatysse of Fyshynge wyth an Angle is as much a work of philosophy as a how-to manual, and in it she prescribes fishing as ?a cure for domestic calamatie.” This anthology responds to her advice. A dozen of North America’s top writers embark on individual fishing trips and see if limpid water and the silence of wild places will help them reflect on their own lives and calamities.

The exploratory process of writing is not so different from the process of trolling the unknown invisible world beneath the surface of a river or lake. The angler and writer both toss lines, chase shadows, and spend countless hours pondering what might have been if they’d handled that last opportunity with more gentleness and skill. Writers and anglers never stop trying, and they never stop despairing of their incompetence at the quest. In life, as in fishing, the trophy always gets away. But the writer at least brings home a story.

Tom McGuane travels to the Florida Keys and writes about the delicate act of balancing his love of southern tarpon fishing with his domestic duty as a north-country husband. Kenneth Kidd takes us to Scotland to undertake the fishing trip he was never able to take with his dad. Charles Gaines leads us on a ?heart of darkness” fishing trip down the Zambezi. Richard Ford reflects on his boyhood in the Deep South, his friendship with avuncular old black men who taught him to fish, and his troubled relationship with his father. Wayne Curtis writes about five successive generations of Miramichi River guides, all members of his family who devised a living from the river. Jake MacDonald recalls the decline and death of his long-time fishing buddy, and the lesson his friend passed on. Other writers who share their journies include David Adams Richards, David Carpenter, Charles Wilkins, Joan Wulff, and Annie Proulx.

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