The Outermost House
A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod
Publication Date: July 2003
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A chronicle of a solitary year spent on a Cape Cod beach, " The Outermost House" has long been recognized as a classic of American nature writing. Henry Beston had originally planned to spend just two weeks in his seaside home, but was so possessed by the mysterious beauty of his surroundings that he found he "could not go."
Instead, he sat down to try and capture in words the wonders of the magical landscape he found himself in thrall to: the migrations of seabirds, the rhythms of the tide, the windblown dunes, and the scatter of stars in the changing summer sky. Beston argued that, "The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot." Seventy-five years after they were first published, Beston's words are more true than ever.
Robert Finch is the author of five collections of essays and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing. He broadcasts a weekly commentary on NPR and serves on the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He lives in Wellfleet, MA.
When she needs inspiration for writing about the natural world, author Lucinda Fleeson opens Henry Beston's 1929 classic: The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod. More at NPR.org
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