In Earshot of Water Wins 2012 Washington State Book Award
Paul Lindholdt's In Earshot of Water illuminates the Pacific Northwest in vivid detail. Whether the subject is the plants that grow there, the animals that live there, the rivers that run there, or the people he has known there, Lindholdt writes with the precision of a naturalist, the critical eye of an ecologist, the affection of an apologist, and the self-revelation and self-awareness of a personal essayist. Exploring both the literal and literary sense of place, with particular emphasis on environmental issues and politics in the far Northwest, Lindholdt weds passages from the journals of Lewis and Clark, the log of Captain James Cook, the novelized memoir of Theodore Winthrop, and Bureau of Reclamation records growing from the paintings that the agency commissioned to publicize its dams in the 1960s and 1970s, to tell ecological and personal histories of the region he knows and loves.
The Washington State Book Awards are presented annually in recognition of notable books written by Washington authors in the previous year. This literary awards program was established in 1967 as the Governor's Writers Awards. The program was based at the Washington State Library in Olympia. Each year up to ten outstanding books of any kind written by Washington authors in the previous year were recognized with awards based on literary merit, lasting importance, and overall quality of the publication. In 2001 the Washington Center for the Book, based at the Seattle Public Library, took over the administration of the program and it was renamed the Washington State Book Awards.
Additional praise for In Earshot of Water:
“To read In Earshot of Water is to enter the mind of a first-rate naturalist, a devoted father, and a keen observer of all the confounding ways people find to live in place. To read this book is to learn again how to listen, how to forgive, and ultimately, how to love life that is sometimes as cruel as it is beautiful.”—Kathleen Dean Moore, author, Wild Comfort
“As it moves from the personal to the social, historical, and environmental aspects of the northwestern landscape, Paul Lindholdt’s In Earshot of Water beguiles and teaches. Lindholdt’s prose is a pleasure to read, and his personal presence is palpable but never intrusive. It is a tough trick, what he’s done, and I admire it. The book ought to be of interest to readers of environmentally conscious literature, residents and lovers of the Northwest, and students of good, clear, concise writing everywhere.”—Philip Connors, author, Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
Paul Lindholdt is a professor of English at Eastern Washington University. He has collaborated on the books Cascadia Wild: Protecting an International Ecosystem; The Canoe and the Saddle: A Critical Edition; John Josselyn, Colonial Traveler: A Critical Edition of “Two Voyages to New-England”; and Holding Common Ground: The Individual and Public Lands in the American West.