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DJ Lee has achieved an intricate weave of myriad strands, of the lives of family members and strangers past and present as well as her own intimate knowledge and experience, as she explores the perilous and profound implications of wilderness and in particular the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana. –Mary Clearman Blew, author of Jackalope Dreams and Ruby Dreams of Janis Joplin
DJ Lee deftly intertwines the evocative and the provocative into a beautifully written and fully engaging memoir. Her fascinating interwoven stories sweep us into the complexities and mysteries of the human wilderness, too, each chapter offering unpredictable surprises and insights that stay with us. A profound pleasure to read. –Joy Passanante, author of Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars
When DJ Lee’s dear friend vanishes in the vast Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana, she travels there to seek answers. The journey unexpectedly brings to an end her fifteen-year quest to uncover the buried history of her family in this remote place. Although Lee doesn’t find all the answers, she comes away with a penetrating memoir that weaves her present-day story with past excursions into the region, wilderness history, and family secrets.
As she grapples with wild animal stand-offs, bush plane flights in dense fog, raging forest fires, and strange characters who have come to the wilderness to seek or hide, Lee learns how she can survive emotionally and how the wilderness survives as an ecosystem. Her growing knowledge of the life cycles of salmon and wolverine, the regenerative role of fire, and Nimíipuu land practices helps her find intimacy in this remote landscape.
Skillfully intertwining history, outdoor adventure, and mystery, Lee’s memoir is an engaging contribution to the growing body of literature on women and wilderness and a lyrical tribute to the spiritual connection between people and the natural world.
D J Lee is Regents Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Washington State University and earned a PhD from the University of Arizona and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her creative work includes over thirty non-fiction pieces in magazines and anthologies. She has published eight books on literature, history, and the environment, most recently the 2017 collection The Land Speaks: New Voices at the Intersection of Oral and Environmental History. Lee is the Director of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project and a scholar-fellow at the Black Earth Institute.
March 2020. 6 x 9 inches. 200 pages. 28 b&w photographs. 1 map. ISBN: 978-0-87071-000-1. Paperback. $19.95