Books & Essays
The Woods Stretched for Miles: New Nature Writing from the South
University of Georgia Press 1999
The Woods Stretched for Miles gathers essays about southern landscape and nature from nineteen writers with geographic or ancestral ties to the region. Harry Middleton's chapter is entitled "Bagpipes on Hazel Creek."
From the savannas of south Florida through the hardwood uplands of Mississippi to the coastal rivers of the Carolinas and the high mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, the range in geography covered is equally broad. With insight and eloquence, these diverse talents take up similar themes: environmental restoration, the interplay between individual and community, the definition of wildness in an area transformed by human activity, and the meaning of our reactions to the natural world.
Readers will treasure the passionate and intelligent honorings of land and nature offered by this rich anthology. With the publication of The Woods Stretched for Miles, southern voices establish their abiding place in the ever-popular nature writing genre.
Book Review #1:
"This is an important book?the first of its kind exclusively on the Southeast. It should appeal to general readers who wish to read about the genre in the Southeast, about the long and complex relationship between American culture and nature, and also about controversial environmental issues in the region."
?John Murray, editor of American Nature Writing
Book Review #2:
"I am delighted with the very concept of this anthology of Southern nature writing. There are dozens and dozens of recent scholarly books on environmental literature and anthologies of nonfiction nature writing, nature poetry, and environmental writing in general, including a number of regionally oriented collections. But, so far, other than Molly Westling's ecocritical studies of Southern fiction, few of these recent publications are explicitly devoted to Southern environmental literature. For this reason, there is a significant void that the The Woods Stretched for Miles is intended to fill?and I think it fills the void quite well."
?Scott Slovic, author of Being in the World: An Environmental Reader for Writers
The Earth is Enough
Pruett Publishing Company 1995
Book Review #1:
As the United States got involved in the Vietman war, Middleton's military father sent 14-year-old Harry to live with his grandfather in rural Arkansas. There Middleton, now outdoors columnist for Southern Living magazine, discovered the wonders of living a life close to nature. His grandfather shared a farm with two other men, and the trio strove to protect the farm from the 20th century. They taught Middleton the value of a simple life, yet also instilled in him a yearning for knowledge and a love of good books. He recalls hours spent in the woods and fishing for trout in the stream that flowed through the farm. Using the trout as a metaphor for all things wild, Middleton manages to weave together his boyhood memories with a profound respect for the natural world. An understated, evocative work. -- Library Journal
Book Review #2:
t the age of 14, as the country drifted into war in Vietnam, the author was sent to live with his great uncle and his grandfather on a farm in the Ozarks. In a world far removed from global events, these kind old men, content with solitude and a meager subsistence scraped from the land, occupied their time reading, trout fishing and steadfastly refusing to make concessions to modern technology. They measured the success of their resistance to change by the amount of disapproval they elicited from their God-fearing neighbors, the local preacher and the state agricultural agent, all of whom failed to indoctrinate the pair in the paths of righteousness and profitable farming. Middleton, outdoors columnist for Southern Living magazine, writes with humor and compassion of these witty and articulate eccentrics who changed his life and taught him to love and respect the earth and its creatures. -- Publishers Weekly