Walking The Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts And What Remains by Barbara HurdWalking The Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts And What Remains by Barbara Hurd

Walking The Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts And What Remains

byBarbara Hurd

Hardcover | June 1, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 145 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Barbara Hurd continues to give nature writing a human dimension in this final volume of her trilogy that began with Stirring the Mud and Entering the Stone. With prose both eloquent and wise, she examines what washes ashore, from the angel wing shells to broken oars. Even a merman appears in this brilliant collection that throws light on the mysterious and the overlooked.

Writing from beaches as far-flung as Morocco, St. Croix, or Alaska, and as familiar as California and Cape Cod, she helps us see beauty in the gruesome feeding process of the moon snail. She holds up an encrusted, still-sealed message bottle to make tangible the emotional divide between mother and daughter. She considers a chunk of sea glass and the possibilities of transformation.

The book began on a beach, Hurd says, "with the realization that a lot of what I care about survives in spite of-perhaps because of-having been broken or lost for a while in backward drift. Picking up egg cases, stones, shells, I kept turning them over-in my hands and in my mind."

Each chapter starts with close attention to an object-a shell fragment of a pelican egg, or perhaps a jellyfish-but then widens into larger concerns: the persistence of habits, desire, disappointments, the lie of the perfectly preserved, the pleasures of aversions, transformations, and a phenomenon from physics known as the strange attractor.

Barbara Hurd is the author of Stirring the Mud, Entering the Stone, and a collection of poetry, The Singer's Temple. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Yale Review, Georgia Review, Nimrod, New Letters, and Audubon. Hurd teaches creative writing at Frostburg State University, where she has held the Elkins Professorship, and ...
Title:Walking The Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts And What RemainsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:136 pages, 8.45 × 5.74 × 0.57 inPublished:June 1, 2008Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820331023

ISBN - 13:9780820331027


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

1. Broken Oar: Preface 1
2. Wordwrack: Openings 8
3. Moon Snail: Unseemly Proportions 10
4. Egg: Breaking Out 13
5. Spider Crab: Disguise 17
6. Stones: Turning Points 25
7. Meiofauna, a Holy Man, and Singing Sand: Incoherence 34
8. Wentletrap: The Pleasures of Aversions 43
9. Lime Sea Glass: Transformations 48
10. Bottle and Feather: A Different Question 58
11. Beached Icebergs: Erasable Truths 65
12. Worms: The Persistence of Habits 68
13. Jellyfish: The Unfinished 71
14. Pebbles: Fine Distinctions 80
15. Purple Sailors: The Shape of Chance 93
16. Angel Wings: Missing Pieces 97
17. Driftwood: A Meditation on Soul 100
18. Bits of Clay, Glass, Wood: The Strange Attractor 103
19. Sea Stars: Return 113

Editorial Reviews

Hurd delivers nineteen pithy and gorgeously written meditations on the places where land and ocean meet. . . . [She] is magnificent at translating the world into words, in witnessing some small incident on a beach . . . and spiraling it out into a sustained series of questions about impermanence.

- Anthony Doerr - Boston Globe