Edward Hoagland is a writer who refuses to be easily pigeonholed. He is best known for his award-winning collections of nature essays, where he leaps the narrow boundaries often associated with writing about the natural world and infuses personal history with that of what he seeks to describe. Hoagland consistently leads the reader on journeys that appear external but quickly delve beneath the surface, revealing truths not only about nature but about the human condition. Although a talented writer of fiction, whose first novel was published while he was still an undergraduate at Harvard in the early 1950s, Hoagland came to see the essay as the medium best suited to expressing his ideas. His search for wild places and his desire to document civilization's encroachment led him from his country home in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom to, among other places, the Sudan, the Antarctic, and India. In Compass Points: How I Lived (2001) Hoagland states succinctly, “I knew what I wanted—pristine lore—and that is half the battle.”Less
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