Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for

Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction [PDF / Epub] ✪ Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction ☆ Julian Hoffman – In The Small Heart of Things Julian Hoffman intimately examines the myriad ways in which connections to the natural world can be deepened through an euality of perception whether itOCOs a caterpillar In The Small Heart of Writers and Kindle Ñ Things Julian Hoffman intimately examines the myriad ways in which connections to the natural world can be deepened through an euality of perception whether itOCOs a caterpillar carrying its house of leaves transhumant shepherds ranging high mountain pastures a uail taking cover on an empty steppe or a Turkmen family emigrating from Afghanistan to Istanbul The narrative spans the commonOCoand often contestedOCoground that supports human and natural communities alike seeking the unsung stories that sustain us Guided by the belief of Rainer Maria Association of PDF/EPUB ² Rilke that everything beckons us to perceive it Hoffman explores the area around the Prespa Lakes the first transboundary park in the Balkans shared by Greece Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia From there he travels widely to regions rarely written about exploring the idea that home is wherever we happen to be if we accord that place our close and patient attention The Small Heart of Things is a book about looking and listening It incorporates travel and natural history writing that interweaves human stories with of Writers and MOBI ñ those of wild creatures Distinguished by HoffmanOCOs belief that through awareness curiosity and openness of Writers and Writing Programs Epub / we have the potential to forge abiding relationships with a range of places it illuminates how these many connections can teach us to be at home in the world.

10 thoughts on “Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction

  1. Tim Chamberlain Tim Chamberlain says:

    This is a beautifully lyrical and engaging book It is a series of meditations upon the twin themes of 'place' and 'perception' which encourages the reader to re think how our unconscious expectations usually shape our views of the world around us whether it be the place where we live or the places we pass through on our travels there are unexpected connections to be found everywhere 'The Small Heart of Things' is a refreshing and thoughtful book by a writer with a remarkable eye and ear for carefully crafted thought and language I highly recommend it It's a book I'm sure I'll be dipping back into long after this first highly enjoyable reading

  2. Joshua Buhs Joshua Buhs says:

    For a moment it promised something interesting before becoming platitudinousThis book came highly recommended by Terry Tempest Williams and that was enough to intrigue me I've become somewhat allergic to conventional nature writing but she assured that this was different merging natural history with the social and cultural to create something open than the usual paeans to wild placesSounded goodAnd the beginning seemed to fulfill that promise Hoffman was open He was unwilling to say that certain places were better than others better homes this counts as radical in the staid confines of nature writing and early chapters continued this theme Well they're not really chapters the book is a collection of essays that circle around the meaning of homeAt any rate these early chapters were focused on the time when he and his wife lived in London It would be expected in nature writing for the author to disparage London as the antithesis of nature but Hoffman resisted that urge He acknowledged that London had been home to numerous waves of immigrants over the centuries a real lived in and sometimes loved home And acknowledged as well that there was nature here though mostly ignored He ignored a great deal of it too the sparrows and finches and pigeons even as he at least recognized they existed in order to focus on a few striking species including feral parakeets He's a birder and nature for him is most accessible in avian formOne might uibble a bit about his focus on these outstanding species And there's a sneaking elitism too he uotes Rilke about the beckoning world this provides the subtitle and pats himself on the book for bothering to notice what so many ignore but that's ok He's noticing that there is nature in the city That there are homes here and a sense of placeBut then he and his wife tire of their commutes and move to Greece a choice largely made because of the birds in the area And the rest of the book becomes routine He sings the praises of the pastoral life and its humane rhythms He loves that there are some birds he rarely sees because it means the world is wild He talks of his neighbors he lives near Albania and Macedonia He compliments their welcoming nature The language slips and becomes boringly conventional like a travel brochure not like lived experience any longer Exact phrases are repeated in separate chapters of this very slim book According to some of the paratext the Hoffmans worked a farm when they first moved to Greece and I guess that's true but most of the rest of the book all? I remember no counterexamples but might have missed something makes them out to be the traditional heroes of pastoral nature writing they are observers Again and again they are on holiday staying in some hotel where they can see new birds Hoffman is beckoned by the world and his special astuteness allows him to see what others miss But the social and cultural world is described in textbook terms it's only the bird life that actually feels as though it were understood through experience The true work of those beckoned by the world is looking at it not working it I imagine coming from London to Greece would have made them fairly well off Hoffman's is the usual very privileged position And so after a promising beginning it ends where these kinds of books usually end

  3. Meera Meera says:

    Finally finished this lovely excursion into landscapes I've never seen and would now dearly love to—none too soon as I'll be hearing Julian read from his book tonight Disclaimer We are Twitter pals who've never met kindred spirits etc You will find here a very measured serious philosophical approach to nature writing but also the intimate domestic voice of someone sharing both his beloved home and the larger idea of how to be at home no matter where you are Beyond all else you will find the keenest eye and ear The world in these pages is never still or at least never still without being simultaneously in motion but it is wonderful to experience Julian stilling himself to know it better

  4. Chris Chris says:

    Being home and being at home place and finding one's place and finding both in nature no matter where you find yourself are some of the themes to this wonderful book Written as a series of essays that wander about a little much as the author has done I found it hard to put down at times In fact I left the last 4 or 5 pages for uite a few days not wanting to finish I would recommend this book to nature lovers travel lovers and those searching for their place in the world

  5. Marie Marie says:

    I recommend this lyrical little book of meditations on what it is to be alive in the world at large as much as in a particular place to anyone who enjoys beautiful writing and anyone who has ever asked themselves what and where home might be That's me for one

  6. Richard Carter Richard Carter says:

    My friend Julian Hoffman's book is an fascinating collection of essays about the relationships we develop with certain locations thereby making them into ‘places’ and sometimes even homes Such relationships are honed through our experiences in these locations the things we see the people we meet the attention we pay As the book's title implies it's often the small things that make a location special an encounter with an animal a conversation with a stranger a walk with a friendMost of The Small Heart of Things is set in Hoffman's adoptive home in the Prespa Lakes region of the Balkans sitting astride the borders of Greece Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia But the book also travels farther afield with flashbacks to Hoffman's time in London and the North of England and with excursions to Transylvania the Bucharest Natural History Museum Istanbul's Grand Bazaar and elsewhere There's even a Skype call to Canada and a chance meeting with an old friend on a train bound for RomaniaIn his essays Hoffman encounters bear tracks and caterpillars eagles and salamanders shepherds and immigrant workers beavers and moths Turkmen traders and a mysterious man with a limp Every one of these encounters and the many others described in this highly enjoyable book leave a lasting impression—both on Hoffman and by way of him on usThis is a book that demonstrates the value of paying attention Highly recommended

  7. Pam Hurd Pam Hurd says:

    Such a lovely collection of observations and musings primarily set around the Prespa Lakes Being completely unfamiliar with this part of the world I found it fascinating But even than the novelty of the subject matter was Julian Hoffman's beautiful descriptions His musings we also very thought provoking I took my time by reading only one or two chapters an evening giving myself plenty of time to contemplate Again a lovely read

  8. lottie bromwich lottie bromwich says:


  9. Patricia Patricia says:

    Life is nothing but a succession of images and impressions racing before from one's mind fom these some come out strongly unforgettable though they may have not been the most significant but because they hold a crystallised moment of life encapsulated within Hoffman uotes from Marcelle Caradja's Memories from the Life of My Father In A Winter Moth Hoffman writes about composing biography and in particular about the life of Aristide Caradja pianist and moth and butterfly collector Layers of Caradja's life and his important work roll out in a small essay of great suggestive depths My other favorite essay The Distance Between Us begins with a mysterious hiking encounter and moves into a mediation on how often we enter the lives of strangers where we're recollected form time to time without our knowing

  10. T.R. T.R. says:

    Beautifully observed and expressed Hoffman's words and the places he describes linger with you even after you finish As this review notes Of greatest value all of Hoffman’s observations resonate with a genuine care for what is being considered and what can be learned

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