Late Migrations -- Margaret Renkl

Staff Pick

Equal parts family memoir and natural history, Renkl’s collection of lyrical vignettes is a true hybrid; as much a product of “piney woods and…birdsong and running creeks” as she is of several Alabama-bred generations, Renkl gracefully and often tellingly alternates stories of great grand--, grand- and parents with accounts of the bluebirds, cedar waxwings, monarch caterpillars, and orb weaver spiders in her Nashville yard. Recounted with vivid details and deep affection, these stories celebrate Renkl’s connections to people and nature but also acknowledge that “the cycle of life might as well be called the cycle of death.” Loss is a constant presence here—loss by illness, accident, age, depression, miscarriage, pesticide, and rat snake. But Renkl’s grief is so intimately tied to love that her fine observations—of her mother’s sudden, startling end, her father’s long last breaths, the shocking disappearance of nestlings—make the pain bearable. And as Renkl admits early in this beautiful book, “I am no scientist, but the flipside of ignorance is astonishment, and I am good at astonishment.” She sure is.


Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313782
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Milkweed Editions - July 9th, 2019

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