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A River Without Banks

Place and Belonging in the Inland Northwest

William Johnson

6 × 9 inches. 160 pages.

2010. ISBN 978-0-87071-582-2. Paperback, $18.95.

A River Without Banks chronicles one family’s journey to Idaho, with all of its uncertainties, promises, and hopes. The book explores their encounters with a place still partly wild, whose communities and landscapes teach them how to respect the earth and each other.

William Johnson’s essays move from a family vacation spent observing moose, to a comparison of the creation myths from Genesis and the Nez Perce, to watching a raptor seeking prey. Johnson meditates on how places, animals, and people teach us “how to see, and how we do, and don’t, belong.”

In prose that reveals a poet’s eye, Johnson examines how family relationships affect how we see the natural world. He explores the power of words to divide and to heal. He illuminates the challenges of sustaining a vital relationship with a home place.

A River Without Banks will appeal to readers interested in the literature of place, ecology, natural history, indigenous culture, and conservation.

Member of AAUP