“Altitude Adjustment gives honest, inspiring testimony to the inexorable power of the human will when seized by a grand dream. We cannot help but root for Mary Beth Baptiste as she risks all to live more freely and meaningfully.
Rick Bass’s characters often find themselves…. I was going to finish that thought, but then realized I already had. They find themselves, in a place, with a problem. They are self-aware and honest about their predicaments. But it’s hard to generalize about Bass’s characters, because, in his story “The Prisoners,” for instance, he gives us those three “prisoners” going down the highway oblivious to their own hurts and needs. So much is wrong with their lives that catching a few fish cannot fix.
Author Brenda Peterson has led a charmed life among animals. But her book Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals, makes clear that her life is charmed only because she has always gone out of her way to meet the animals more than halfway. The experiences she comes back to report–among dolphins, whales, dogs, cats, bears–startled and often moved me to tears. Who knew that a whale in deep mourning over the loss of her calf would take a woman’s arm in her mouth and gently “sound”
For an amazingly-well researched and galvanizing example of the environmental memoir genre look no farther than Kristen Iverson‘s Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats. I’ve lived in Colorado for about eight years, but even though I’d heard people question the sanity of turning the former nuclear weapons facility at Rocky Flats into a wildlife refuge, I had no idea how extensive the radioactive pollution was.