Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast Paperback – Mar 9 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
This lyrically intense travelogue will provide historians of the not too distant future with a guide to a vanishing landscape and a lost culture. Tidwell (Mountains of Heaven) graphically recounts catching rides on shrimp boats and crab boats through the dark water swamps of southern Louisiana into the heart of Cajun country. Here, among the great blue heron, spoonbill, gar and gator, the reader meets bayou folk-from the honest and generous fishermen, who provide the author with room, board and transport for his work as a deck hand, to the disheveled backwoods healer who intrigues and tantalizes the writer with his shamanistic spells and incantations. It is these portraits of people on the edge of survival, living in a world where the land is sinking into the sea at a rate of 25 acres a day, that truly engage the reader. A variety of ecological factors have contributed to the subsidence of the Mississippi Delta. With good intentions to stop deadly floods, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a vast network of levees and dams along the river, preventing the annual devastating floods of the past. Unfortunately, this also ended the yearly buildup of silt, necessary for the reinforcement and continued existence of the fragile marshlands in the low country. The nutrient-rich, but light, sandy soil cannot withstand the ceaseless eroding forces of ocean tide and winds. The author's descriptive powers, especially of people, provide the reader with enduring snapshots of a water-bound way of life that is sinking into history.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
An award-winning writer on travel and the environment regrets the devastation of Louisiana's Cajun coast.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But what he found was the greatest untold story in America, one about which he and his associates had never heard a single word ï¿½ the death of the Louisiana coast. ...Tidwell came in with no preconceived ideas about the environmental disaster along the Louisiana coast.
The marsh, however, grabbed him with her cord-grass fingers, and pulled him into herself. She showed him her blanched oak skeletons that stand defiant and scream like sentinels, her deeply dredged canals that fester like scars on the skin of an old mother, and her beaches that are being stripped of their load with the efficiency of a thousand miners.
The marsh cried for Tidwell ï¿½ an outsider ï¿½ to be her voice, and heï¿½s answered the call.
Bayou Farewell is an amazing book. Actually, amazing isnï¿½t adequately superlative. Itï¿½s an astounding book that ought to be required reading in every high school in Louisiana, if not the nation.
It was a book only a non-Louisianian could have written, and Tidwell, with his mastery of the English language and breathtakingly descriptive prose, was perfect for the task. The marsh ï¿½ the mother of our Louisiana culture ï¿½ knew what she was doing, even in this hour as she lay on her death bed.
And she is, indeed, on her death bed.
The author brings the coastal erosion disaster to a national audience by giving it life through the words and actions of the people who live in the marshes and watch helplessly as the Gulf day by day nibbles its way toward their homes.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent service and response. Book arrived exactly as described in the time period that was promised. Thanks for the good service.Published on Nov. 18 2003 by Havana
Any one who loves New Orleans and the quiet, ethereal beauty of the Louisiana bayou should be frightened when they read this book. Read morePublished on May 28 2003 by Barbara Phillips