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Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Beacon Press 2011
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Description

Cabin Fever might be described as a modern Walden, if you can imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. A seasonal memoir written alternately from a little cabin in the Michigan woods and a house in suburban Chicago, the book engages readers in a serious yet irreverent conversation about Thoreau's relevance in the modern age. The author turns Thoreau's immortal statement "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately" on its head with the phrase "I got married and had children because I wished to live deliberately." Though Fate spends half his time at the cabin, this is no world-renouncing, back-to-nature paean. Unlike Thoreau during his Walden years, he balances his solitude with full engagement in family and civic life. Fate's writing reflects this balancing of nature and family in stories such as "The Confused Cardinal," in which a male cardinal feeds chicks of another species and leads to a reflection on parenting; "In the Time of Cicadas," which juxtaposes his wife's hysterectomy with the burgeoning fecundity of the seventeen-year cicadas coming out to mate; and in a beautiful essay reminiscent of E. B. White's "Once More to the Lake," in which Fate takes his son to the same cabin his father took him as a child.In his exploration of how we are to live "a more deliberate life" amid a high-tech, materialist culture, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/07/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780807000977
ASIN:
B004NNUYGA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Tom Montgomery Fate. (2011). Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild. Beacon Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Tom Montgomery Fate. 2011. Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild. Beacon Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Tom Montgomery Fate, Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild. Beacon Press, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Tom Montgomery Fate. Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild. Beacon Press, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Tom Montgomery Fate is the author of four books, including the collection of essays Beyond the White Noise and the spiritual memoir Steady and Trembling. His essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Orion, Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Christian Century, and many other publications, and they often air on NPR's Living On Earth and Chicago Public Radio. He is a professor of English at College of DuPage in Illinois, where he lives with his family. His cabin is in southwest Michigan.

      • name: Tom Montgomery Fate
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title
Cabin Fever
fullDescription

Cabin Fever might be described as a modern Walden, if you can imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. A seasonal memoir written alternately from a little cabin in the Michigan woods and a house in suburban Chicago, the book engages readers in a serious yet irreverent conversation about Thoreau's relevance in the modern age.

The author turns Thoreau's immortal statement "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately" on its head with the phrase "I got married and had children because I wished to live deliberately." Though Fate spends half his time at the cabin, this is no world-renouncing, back-to-nature paean. Unlike Thoreau during his Walden years, he balances his solitude with full engagement in family and civic life.

Fate's writing reflects this balancing of nature and family in stories such as "The Confused Cardinal," in which a male cardinal feeds chicks of another species and leads to a reflection on parenting; "In the Time of Cicadas," which juxtaposes his wife's hysterectomy with the burgeoning fecundity of the seventeen-year cicadas coming out to mate; and in a beautiful essay reminiscent of E. B. White's "Once More to the Lake," in which Fate takes his son to the same cabin his father took him as a child.

In his exploration of how we are to live "a more deliberate life" amid a high-tech, materialist culture, Fate invites readers into an interrogation of their own lives, and into a new kind of vision: the possibility of enough in a culture of more.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Terrain.org
      • content: "I grew fond fast of this book, and it's hard not to. Fate is a man who brings coyotes and cougars to the page in a thoughtful, beautiful prose that's readable, lyrical, and begs the reader to slow down and take their time. The book is a wide, deep river, best observed with a cup of coffee as the sun's coming up over the ridge and the night's crickets have given way to the scratching and calls of the morning's towhees."
      • premium: False
      • source: Christian Century
      • content: "Tom Montgomery Fate's charming volume is about his search for meaning in the suburbs, a search that takes him to the woods of Michigan where he builds his own cabin...What makes Cabin Fever such good reading is that the author doesn't try to be a modern-day Thoreau...The magic of Cabin Fever is the author's willingness to move back and forth between the two worlds of hectic suburbs and the more isolated nature-soaked cabin."
      • premium: False
      • source: Brevity
      • content: "Cabin Fever is a quietly stunning book, organized around the four seasons, much as Walden is structured...His elegant and rhythmic prose is about embodiment and the fight we must make to swim against the current that seeks to sweep us away from such bold and incarnational living...Not all books invite us to enter their lives in so intimate a fashion, to join our own patterns of living with theirs. But Fate's admission that he is a "slow and bungling pilgrim" serves as an admonition and a blessing to his readers to go and live, even if imperfectly, this one blessed life we've been given."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: "May touch a chord in a desperate urban-dweller's heart ... may also show ... that Mother Earth's bosom is not always welcoming to mere humans."
      • premium: False
      • source: Christianity Today
      • content: "His account of a quest for a "more deliberate life," inspired by a re-reading of Thoreau's Walden several years ago, is refreshingly modest but also aching with yearning for the Home we all desire."
      • premium: False
      • source: Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review, May 1, 2011
      • content: "His frank, poignant, and funny essays grapple with the quandaries inherent in the effort to live a balanced life. Fate's clarion musings on place, time, family, social responsibility, the wild, and the civilized are thoughtful and affecting in their revelations of how complex and precious life is."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Never snide or condescending, Fate blends the significant milestones of marriage and family in a high-tech BlackBerry society with the joys and shortcomings of being mindful in both cultures."
      • premium: False
      • source: Hilary Daninhirsch, Foreword Reviews
      • content: "The tone of Fate's writing is serious and thoughtful, yet laced with some humor (particularly the chapter in which he imagines a gay relationship between two male cardinals)... Fate is introspective and writes in a lyrical manner, offering much food for thought in this multi-layered, 'how to live" memoir.'"
      • premium: False
      • source: David Gessner, author of Soaring with Fidel and The Tarball Chronicles
      • content: "This quietly marvelous book is really a mystery novel at heart. The mystery is How to live? Tom Montgomery Fate, a self-described 'slow and bumbling pilgrim,' sets out to answer this question, meandering, with Thoreau as his companion, toward the truth--or more accurately, the truths. Henry David Thoreau has never been more relevant than he is today, and what a pleasure to follow the two of them sleuthing toward something solid in these fickle and shifting times."
      • premium: False
      • source: John T. Price, author of Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships
      • content: "With Thoreau as his guide, Tom Montgomery Fate explores a wild territory where Henry himself never dared to venture: marriage, parenthood, and the suburban backyard. Along the way, he shows us how to embrace the challenges of our world, and our daily lives, with new grace, restoring us to the place where we should all be living: in gratitude and wonder. A profound and beautiful book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus

      • content: "Quiet, beautifully written reflections on nature and the mindful life, laced with the thoughts and writings of Thoreau."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 11, 2011
        Seeking the solace of "a deliberate life," Fate, a professor of English at the College of DuPage, writes of his measured take on Thoreau's iconic words, turning his back on a hectic world in his new book. With a cabin in the wilderness of southwest Michigan, he explains his core beliefs after reading Thoreau's Walden in his introduction: "a deliberate life is a search for balance in mind and body and spirit amid our daily lives." If the reader can get past such feel-good, cozy chapter titles as "Picking Blackberries" or "A Box of Wind," there are real gems of insight and wit on the diverse topics of appreciating nature, love and sex, technology, parenthood, the solitary life, art, self-reliance, reason and aging. Never snide or condescending, Fate blends the significant milestones of marriage and family in a high-tech BlackBerry society with the joys and shortcomings of being mindful in both cultures, allowing the reader to sample how others live away from the hectic rat race in a pseudo-spiritual environment.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 1, 2011

        A suburban father marches to the beat of Henry David Thoreau.

        After rereading Walden in middle age, Fate (English/Coll. of DuPage; Steady & Trembling: Art, Faith, & Family in an Uncertain World, 2005, etc.) emulated his literary hero by building a cabin in the wilds of southwest Michigan. He then began the search for balance and a closer connection to nature, which he recounts in these delightful personal essays. A father of three in suburban Chicago, Fate could not isolate himself in his cabin like the hermetic Thoreau. So he conducted his quest while fully engaged with the daily rounds of life in a high-tech, material culture. Inspired by awareness of the most ordinary things—a backyard bird feeder, a bowl of lake glass, the death of the family cat—each essay explores some aspect of human experience, following Thoreau's "invitation to a new kind of vision, to the joy of enough in a culture of more, to a deliberate life." The author watches children lost in play and wonders when he lost his own faith in the present moment. Taking a cue from "Mr. Self-Reliance," he attempts to trim the elm trees on his property, fails miserably, and realizes that Thoreau's barebones way of living clearly "isn't nearly enough for me." With each foray into the workaday world, Fate comes closer to understanding how he might achieve balance in his hectic modern life.

        Quiet, beautifully written reflections on nature and the mindful life, laced with the thoughts and writings of Thoreau.

         

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2011
        Fate, the author of four previous books and an essayist whose work appears on National Public Radio and in diverse newspapers and magazines, debates his mentor, Henry David Thoreau, in a sequence of inquiring, superbly constructed essays. As Thoreau does in Walden, Fate encapsulates a years worth of experiences and reflections, but his musings are anchored to not only the cabin he builds in southwest Michigan but also the suburban Chicago home he shares with his wife and three children. An English professor and a writer, a family man seeking solitude, and a book lover reading by candlelight as his computer slumbers, Fate seeks a middle way. The son of a pastor and a seminary graduate, Fate discerns invaluable lessons in living from watching birds and ants at work and his son at play, walking in the woods, sitting with a dying friend, listening to the roar of interstate traffic, and contemplating the lives of suburban coyotes. His frank, poignant, and funny essays grapple with the quandaries inherent in the effort to live a balanced life. Fates clarion musings on place, time, family, social responsibility, the wild, and the civilized are thoughtful and affecting in their revelations of how complex and precious life is.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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Cabin Fever might be described as a modern Walden, if you can imagine Thoreau married, with a job, three kids, and a minivan. A seasonal memoir written alternately from a little cabin in the Michigan woods and a house in suburban Chicago, the book engages readers in a serious yet irreverent conversation about Thoreau's relevance in the modern age.

The author turns Thoreau's immortal statement "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately" on its head with the phrase "I got married and had children because I wished to live deliberately." Though Fate spends half his time at the cabin, this is no world-renouncing, back-to-nature paean. Unlike Thoreau during his Walden years, he balances his solitude with full engagement in family and civic life.

Fate's writing reflects this balancing of nature and family in stories such as "The Confused Cardinal," in which a male cardinal feeds chicks of another species and leads to a reflection on...

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