The Pine Island Paradox
By Kathleen Dean Moore
(Milkweed Editions, Hardcover, 9781571312761, 208pp.)
Publication Date: April 2004
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In this warm, stimulating brew of personal stories, acclaimed author Kathleen Dean Moore uses the metaphor of an island to challenge the cynicism inherent in the Western worldview. A gifted storyteller with a sly sense of humor, Moore explores three separations brought to us by Enlightenment philosophers: the separation of human from nature, of things near and far away, and of the sacred from the mundane. Challenging each, such as Descartes' idea that humans have a discrete consciousness and can alter creation while remaining unaltered themselves, she reveals why such divisions don't tally with the values expressed daily in the way people live. Moore disguises her philosophical explorations in stories: about vacationing on a tiny island in Alaska, visiting her father in the hospital, watching grouse perform their mating dance in the desert. Throughout, she shows that, when properly observed, the world is full of opportunities to find hidden connections.