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The Nude Beach Notebook

Barbara J. Scot

6 × 9. 205 pages.

2014. ISBN 978-0-87071-740-6. Paperback, $18.95.

In this engaging new memoir, a loose sequel to her earlier Prairie Reunion, Barbara J. Scot explores her reluctance and longing to reconnect with a much-loved brother, lost to alcoholism for thirty years.

Scot uses long, meditative walks on the “clothing optional” beach of the idyllic Sauvie Island near Portland, Oregon, to explore family responsibility, time’s passage, and faith. She weaves entries from her notebook—a record of the island’s wildlife, descriptions of the “Odd Ones” she encounters on the beach, and stories about the native people who once lived on the river—with the main narrative, tracing her search for her brother, her close friendship with a fellow writer, and daily life on the moorage. Scot considers the uses of fiction and non-fiction in memory as well as in writing, the brevity and beauty of human existence, and the inscrutable, enduring mystery of death.

In The Nude Beach Notebook, Scot highlights the importance of place as a means for exploring and interpreting one’s own story. In the end, her walks on Sauvie Island lead to her own redemptive journey.

Member of AAUP