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Clearcut by Nina Shengold
Paperback $16.95
Aug 09, 2005 | ISBN 9781400079698

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  • Aug 09, 2005 | ISBN 9781400079698

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780307425294

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Seattle Post-Intelligencer Best Books of the Year
San Francisco Bay Times Best Books of the Year
A Book Sense Notable Selection’s Henry Miller Award for Best Literary Sex Scene

“A red-hot love triangle. . . . Bursting with period detail and smoldering with sexual tension, Shengold’s debut satisfies as both a beach read and a literary novel. GRADE: A.” -–Washington Post
“Erotically daring. . . . Stunning prose. . . . Shengold’s debut novel revisits the free love era with a fresh voice and an eye for the tricky fragility of inner peace.” –-Time Out New York
“An entrancing debut novel. . . . A powerful recreation of the place, the time, the people, an affecting, surprising and sometimes even shocking tale.” -–Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Sumptuously intelligent. . . . The setting [is] rendered in stunning detail. . . . The book’s vivid characters win our attention and hearts.” –-Out magazine
“Erotically atmospheric. . . . The sexual tension among the rough-and-ready lovers resonates thrillingly with the landscape. . . . A noveau hippie tale with boldness and spunk.” –-Kirkus Reviews
“Steamy sexual atmosphere . . . elegant prose.” –-Seattle Times
“A shaggy, steamy ‘70s menage a trois in a Pacific Northwest logging town. . . . Shengold’s characters are richly three-dimensional, and plenty of authentic era detail makes for a ripping read.” –-Publishers Weekly

“A stunning book, one of the best literary novels I have come across in a long time. Shengold’s prose is fluent like a river, and her characters are as sharp as knives in this beautiful love story.”  –Da Chen, author of Colors of the Mountain

“A beautiful, romantic, alive book. Clearcut is the patchouli and reckless love of the ‘70s, the rugged beauty and wreckage of the Pacific Northwest forests, woven together with a storyteller’s grace and the great grand character of Earley Ritter, with whom every reader will fall in love.” —Amy Bloom, author of Love Invents Us

Author Essay

A Treeplanter Revisits Her Roots
A Personal Essay by Nina Shengold

My first view of the Olympic Peninsula was something akin to love at first sight. I was twenty-two, having a summer adventure; I thought I was just passing through. But the mountains seduced me. Before I knew it, I’d signed on for a stint with the U. S. Forest Service, and when even that seemed too straitlaced, a treeplanters’ cooperative deep in the western Olympics.

We were a group of fourteen men and women, frizzy as R. Crumb cartoons, outfitted with hip-slung treebags and hoedads, a hand tool of near-Neolithic simplicity. Every morning we roused ourselves from our damp tents, trucks and trailers, threw on layers of raingear and slogged into man-made hell. The forest had been clearcut, every cedar and fir felled by loggers. Clearcuts are not bare. They’re littered with lopped branches, undergrowth, stumps and ankle-deep mudslides, often at nearly vertical grades. Add a needling drizzle of sleet, plus the weight of a few hundred seedlings, and it’s amazing that anyone’s willing to do, much less love, this work.

Two things rescue you. One is the metaphor, regeneration made literal, a hands-on healing of land that’s been laid waste by greed. The other is simple magnificence. When your back aches, your legs throb and your fingers are numb, you have only to turn from the earth you’ve been facing for hours, and look up at Olympus. The beauty is boundless. I’m glad I was there.

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