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Now Go Home

Wilderness, Belonging, and the Crosscut Saw

Ana Maria Spagna

5 1/2 × 8 1/2 inches. 176 pages.

2004. ISBN 978-0-87071-009-4. Paperback, $18.95.

Now Go Home tells the story of how a quintessential California girl ended up earning her living in the Pacific Northwest with a crosscut saw. Ana Maria Spagna came of age in southern California in the "hot-pink eighties." By the time she turned 19, she had visited Disneyland 37 times and was ready to hit the road. In these finely edged essays, she takes her readers along.

With candor, wit, and hard-earned wisdom, Spagna reflects on the journey that took her from a childhood in the suburbs of LA to a trail crew in the North Cascades, where she falls in love with a place and, unexpectedly, with a woman. With days spent laboring as the only woman on a trail crew and evenings in a cabin no larger than Thoreau's, she has world enough and time to wrestle with the compromises and contradictions of making "a life in the woods." From the work she does and the people she meets, she comes to see the nuances, and occasionally the humor, of big ideas like wilderness and environmentalism. And she decides this is the place she must call home.

Member of AAUP