Read Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren by Barry López Online


A scientist sees wild animals in empty urban spaces . . . A gravely ill woman weaves her desires into luminous cloth . . . An anthropologist seeks redemption in the bush, but is thwarted by an aboriginal people's indifference to natural violence. In twelve transcendent and affecting short fictions, National Book Award-winning author Barry Lopez demonstrates once again hisA scientist sees wild animals in empty urban spaces . . . A gravely ill woman weaves her desires into luminous cloth . . . An anthropologist seeks redemption in the bush, but is thwarted by an aboriginal people's indifference to natural violence. In twelve transcendent and affecting short fictions, National Book Award-winning author Barry Lopez demonstrates once again his respect for disparate ways of knowing and being, and his sense of the magic and marvelous strangeness of the real world....

Title : Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780380724826
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren Reviews

  • Lauren
    2019-05-04 05:15

    Contemplative and melancholy in tone, each vignette brings into focus a single character that lives 'outside' in some way - the hermit, the "old maid", the caretaker - outside of society, outside of the norms, truly outside and off the grid. It's a beautiful and thoughtful collection, weaving in themes of nature and animals right alongside human nature. This was a perfect introduction to Lopez, and I look forward to diving into his collected works that now span several decades.

  • Ryan Mishap
    2019-04-29 00:18

    This collection of short stories proves that Lopez is underrated as a fiction writer--oh sure, he's won awards, but his nonfiction overshadows the little gems he writes (see Resistance for an excellent book).As the title suggests, most of the stories deal with people who are intent on observing, and, doing so, they fail to participate in the life aorund them; fail to live in nature and remain apart from it. The second theme that emerges involves people who become disconnected from others because of their own disapproval, biases.Top notch.

  • Ryan
    2019-05-03 02:07

    Amazing short stories. There seems to be a theme in this collection, that the main character doesn't always 'get' the situation they are in, that they are distracted or can't see the deeper meaning to what's being communicated.

  • Jacquelyn Mccaw
    2019-05-07 06:13

    Let Barry immerse you in the worlds he creates through words…Field Notes by Barry Lopez. Vintage Books, New York, 1994Barry Lopez masters the art of creating a picture in the mind of the viewer in this fiction piece. His descriptions are so vivid and detailed that the reader can literally see the surroundings around the characters. Field Notes is broken into 12 short stories that bring the reader into completely different settings with each. There are common themes throughout each short story, however, that make the entire piece feel connected, and make the stories make sense together. Nature, isolation, the protagonist overcoming some sort of obstacle, and of course beautiful descriptions are prominent in each of the stories in Field Notes.The introduction Within Birds’ Hearing begins with a lone narrator, facing exhaustion, describing the scenery around him as he hikes. When nightfall’s, he hears the sound of a canyon wren. He follows the sound, and finds water, ensuring his survival for another day.Teal Creek is about a man who knows his way around the wilderness, and builds cabins in the best locations, and who fascinates the narrator. The narrator feels compelled to visit him some time later in his life, and is not sure why, and is surprised what he finds when he gets there.Empira’s Tapestry is about a teacher named Empira who boarded with the narrator, and when she became sick, she began to weave a beautiful tapestry that would become a central item upon her death.The Open lot is about a lot in a city that the narrator finds alluring as well as peace in. She watches the lot slowly change and fill with life, until one day she goes on a trip, and upon her return, finds the lot completely different.Conversation is a short story that is a dialogue between two friends, revealing one of them is in politics, and has changed his beliefs to further his career.Pearyland is about the narrator inquiring about a strangers experience visiting the place where animals’ spirits go before being reincarnated.The Negro in the Kitchen is about an encounter between the narrator and a Negro he finds in his kitchen asking for food. The Negro and the narrator talk for a while and the Negro impresses the narrator speaking about what he is embarking on and why he appeared in his kitchen.The Entreaty of the Wiideema is about the narrator meeting a tribe and living with them for a time and learning to understand them.Homecoming is about a mans revelation that he has immersed himself in his work too much, and that he does not know his family anymore, and his first steps at making amends.Sonora is about the narrator being commissioned to study sand dunes outside of the investors’ home, and his struggles with slowly becoming deaf, and the constant feelings of isolation. Lessons from the Wolverine is about the narrator discovering information about animals and his surroundings, not through reading, but by observation, and keeping himself around the subject he is studying.The Runner is about a man who wants to reconnect with his sister, and realizes she is this extraordinary woman whom he wished he had not lost contact with.The characters Lopez creates are easy to comprehend and follow. His voice in each story shines as he eloquently plays out his short stories that could easily be written into longer pieces. Praise for Field Notes, as it challenges the reader to think about our world in the way the characters see it.

  • Kevin Spicer
    2019-04-27 01:12

    Favorite line: "I departed-my body deft, taut-with a clear sense of where I should go: the route, the dangers, the distances by day. But then the landscape became vast."Each of these stories speaks of how our desire to know, to analyze, to categorize, to enact some method of control in our lives is often overwhelmed by something emotive and infinite lurking within ourselves and the land. Moving into that state of unknowing is a movement toward consolation and ultimately, hope, while resistance to it is a retreat into shallower, more navigable but less rewarding waters.Classic Lopez, a good mix of characters, curious grad students, unorthodox scientist, estranged family members, and friendly hermits, all inhabiting the diverse landscapes of North America.

  • Danny Hesser
    2019-05-18 08:15

    This was the first book we discussed in a course entitled Literature of the Earth. I think it's the first in the magical realism genre I've read, and also the first by Lopez. I was blown away. Characters in each story are transformed somehow due to their interface with nature. Points of view vary, as well as the way Lopez tells a story. Several left me wondering about things well after putting the book down. I borrowed it from the library and took copious notes in a separate "reading journal," a great exercise I'd recommend.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-09 01:19

    I thought this was a book of nature essays, and I was very pleasantly surprised. It's short stories, and they do have to do with nature, but they have this magical element that's just enough for me. The book is many years old, but I'd say this is the freshest nature-type writing I've ever read. It's surprising and very well written and quick but not too light. I will definitely be seeking out more of Lopez's fiction.

  • Sara
    2019-05-10 08:04

    I've read some Barry Lopez before but it's been a while. I was disappointed by this collection. It was one story after another with the same theme: arrogant materialistic intellectual has a transformative experience discovering mystical beyond-believable miracles out in nature. I love nature writing, but this was a let down.

  • Pamela
    2019-05-19 01:55

    Excellent. A great set of very short stories. A little of magical realism derived from nature, mostly animals and a few from plants as well. Overall the stories are about observation, listening and paying attention to the natural world.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-06 02:01

    I don't read or enjoy much short fiction, so the fact that I even liked this is remarkable... I found the stories interesting, unsettling, enjoyable, thought-provoking, and will probably return to a few of them again.

  • Terresa
    2019-05-18 07:13

    A memorable book, for the rare chance of reading it at an ideal time (!!) and for the beautiful unknowingness of the places, characters, and their quests. A perfect introduction to the writings of Barry Lopez.

  • Kat
    2019-05-03 01:02

    Beautiful images but not enough plot or character to really engage the reader.

  • Brandon
    2019-05-20 04:15

    I read this book in less than a day, couldn't put it down.

  • Keith Miller
    2019-05-20 04:17

    Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren by Barry Lopez (2004)

  • Nell
    2019-04-22 04:03

    Sometimes it is good to remember there is a life outside of the screen.

  • Hal
    2019-05-10 07:06

    A short book of short stories, all kind of quietly soulful.

  • Mary Cartledgehayes
    2019-05-21 08:18

    I broke up with this book before finishing it, but I was pleased to wander within Lopez's scrumptious vocabulary for a time.