River Earth is a personal exploration of family and community in and around the rivers of the Pacific Northwest. In these poignant essays, John Pierce probes the lifelong impact of a teenage boy’s loss of a father, and how it led his own sons to a life on the river. He lifts the covers from the seeming tranquility of north Idaho’s woods to reveal the personal impact of a friend’s fear of racial violence. His mother’s heroic lingering death forces him to confront who he is—while in the midst of a relationship that had lain dormant. Nighttime visits by Johnny Cash, two-foot long that don’t exist, and a son who hears music in his head while wandering along Idaho’s Jeru Creek all enliven and enrich this moving yet humorous book.
Love, anger, wonder, a sense of place, of family, and of community—these all emerge in this collection of evocative autobiographical excursions.
Illustrations / photographs / 208 pages (1999)