Paper pub. date
January 2004
ISBN 9780870710094 (paperback)
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, 176 pages.

Now Go Home

Wilderness, Belonging, and the Crosscut Saw

Ana Maria Spagna

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.

About the author

Ana Maria Spagna lives in Stehekin, Washington, where she works on a National Park Service trail crew. Her essays have appeared in Orion, Utne Reader, Open Spaces, Backpacker, and Best Essays NW

Read more about this author

Wilderness, Homelessness, and the Crosscut Saw 1
Now Go Home 8
Children of the Woods 19
How to Waste Time 33
The Tourists in My Yard 38
Long Distance 49
The Doodles We Draw 58
Doing Without 63
Choir Practice 69
On The Rim 79
Entombing Spiders and Other Small Shack Stories 92
To the Woods 96
Red Tape and Yellow Stickies 101
The Old Wagon Road 104
From the Ground On Up 113
Winter Driving 140
Everywhere But Here 149
Near the Mountains 158

"Spagna's wonderful new book of essays… transports readers into a world of physical labor without removing the romance or hard-won rewards of such work. Even to readers for whom a day of manual labor in cold, mud and rain sounds like the least appealing activity on Earth, the scope and sincerity of these 18 essays will make you laugh, think and appreciate your heated home as they lead you to a fine and quiet place."

-The Seattle Times

"Ana Maria Spagna's essays are as stubborn, compact, and densely grained as a whitebarked pine at timberline. Each achieves its wholeness honestly, earning every twig and needle. No excess growth, no easy resolutions. The best will firmly root themselves in the literature of the Pacific Northwest."

-John Daniel, author of Winter Creek: One Writer's Natural History

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