Sunday, October 7, 2012
Memoir/Environmental: "Into Great Silence" by Eva Saulitis
It is not often that a book published as a memoir focuses so little on the life of the author. Instead, "Into Great Silence" brings into sharp focus the life of the author in specific context of her research on the AT orca pod after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. It is a beautiful, heartbreaking story that galvanizes the reader to do something to help the damaged Alaska wilderness and, specifically, the orcas living there - only to then reveal that there is nothing left to be done.
Alaska's Prince William Sound is lovingly described with both the detail of a scientist and the emotion of someone who has been deeply touched on a spiritual level by that place. Her scientific findings about the AT pod that she studies are flawlessly balanced by tender emotion and very personal reactions to that which she observes, both in the destruction of the Sound and its healing.
This was an all-around beautiful book, and by the end of it I was bawling. Anyone who loves the precious fragility of life and the world in which we live will find something of value in this unique story. Saulitis has a gift for connecting the world of scientific exploration with humanity, so that we may all understand the significance of what we as a race are discovering.
"Into Great Silence" is slated for publication on January 15, 2013. If you are interested in a copy, which I think everyone should be, here is a link to the publisher's website: http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2284