IN THE STRONG WOODS: A Season Alone in the North Country by Paul Lehmberg

IN THE STRONG WOODS: A Season Alone in the North Country

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lehmberg, worn out by English graduate studies and a failed marriage, goes off with only his dog as companion to summer at a remote cabin in the northern Minnesota/Ontario lakes and to think more or less incessantly about himself. He reflects on his going (a leap of faith unclear even to himself) and the reasons for his return to civilization (it isn't ""natural or health-giving"" to be alone too long). Between these decisions he describes a summer of hauling water, sawing logs, pacing off his territory like a wolf, and writing every day on fairly abstract topics such as our penchant for clutter and our unreasonable addiction to knowing what time it is. Occasionally he paddles his canoe or takes a hike and gives us a bit of local scenery. Sometimes he gets right down to earth with observations about pickles and the Franklin stove. Discussing some topics, such as Housewifery, he will find ready agreement: ""Too much zeal has been misdirected toward dirt. . . ."" But Lehmberg has written less about the north country than about his discovery of himself as a ""man amongst men."" Though he writes with some neo-Thoreauvian grace, he simply can't see the forest for the me's.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's