Breakfast at the Exit Cafe: Travels Through America

Greystone Books
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What begins as a road trip through America soon becomes a journey of discovery into themselves and into the heart of the next-door neighbour they thought they knew. For Wayne Grady, the thrill of landscape and history is tempered by memories of racism and his own family roots. Merilyn Simonds, her ear tuned for the offbeat, finds curious echoes of the ex-pat promised land she grew up with. Together they travel against the tide of American history, following in the literary tire tracks of John Steinbeck, William Least Heat Moon, and Francis Trollope.

Grady and Simonds experience the splendors of the Mojave Desert, the Grand Canyon, the Mississippi River, and the bayou’s of Louisiana and the Outer Banks and contemplate the impact of geography on culture and of culture on landscape. They observe America from the outside, yet feel strangely at home.

Part travelogue, part exploration, part mid-winter love story told with wit and acuity by one of Canada’s most engaging literary couples, Breakfast at the Exit Cafe is a journey into the reality behind the cultural myth that is America.
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About the author

Wayne Grady is one of Canada's finest science writers and a Governor General's Award-winning translator. He has authored eleven books of nonfiction, translated fourteen novels, and edited more than a dozen anthologies of short stories and creative nonfiction.

Merilyn Simonds is the author of fourteen books, including the novel The Holding, named a New York Times Editor's Choice, as well as the acclaimed works of literary nonfiction The Lion in the Room Next Door and The Convict Lover, a finalist for the Governor General's Award.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Greystone Books
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Published on
Sep 25, 2010
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781553656562
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Travel / Essays & Travelogues
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A New York Times and Los Angeles Times Bestseller

The best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with "dignity."

Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.

In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes.

With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. She introduces deathcare innovators researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial help us see our own death customs in a new light.

Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular—and, upon close inspection, peculiar—set of "respectful" rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.

Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a story about the many fascinating ways people everywhere have confronted the very human challenge of mortality.

繼《寂靜的春天》之後,帶你重新了解樹的生態環境經典。

這是樹的故事,更是地球所有生命的故事。如果地球沒有樹,也將沒有任何生命。一棵樹,把我們和川流歷史與世界各個角落連結起來。


◎聯合國教科文組織(UNESCO)卡林加獎得主

◎ 2004年科學社會獎最佳大眾書籍

「世界環境大師」大衛.鈴木代表作, 2018全新增訂版


◎吳明益(台灣首位曼布克獎入圍重量級作家)/專文導讀

◎金恆鑣(台灣森林專家)/專業審訂

◎彼得.渥雷本(暢銷書《樹的祕密生命》作者)/2018新版推薦序


有那樣的樹,古老而雄偉,砍倒後的斷面足以承載一座保齡球場;有那樣的樹林,競合著陽光、土地與動物,生命循環寄託百年一度的野火。作者以門前一棵花旗松為主角,回溯生命歷程,娓娓道來,樹,於人類不只是氧氣與木材;如果沒有樹,我們會面臨也不只是消失的綠意?樹,是個體,也是群體,更就是環境。故事就從這裡開始:


生於馬可波羅東遊覲見忽必烈的時代,枯槁於華爾街崩盤的那一年。

細膩寫實的筆法與優美的精細插畫,以科學,以文學,

且聽我們這棵樹與地球數百年、甚至千年糾葛纏綿的故事。


第一章 出生——大約這個時候,我們的種子就浸在陽光裡,而阿茲特克帝國正在建設首都特諾奇提特蘭,後來的墨西哥市。若非森林大火,清除低矮樹種,花旗松的種子無法得到合適的土地。


第二章 生根——我們的種子已經完全醒來,胚根蠢蠢欲動,戴著根冠,保護即將竄土大肆前進、其實挺脆弱的根尖。這棵樹開始了它的祕密生命,與周遭的生物產生或合作、或競爭、或共榮共辱的複雜生活。要了解一棵樹,我們就必須了解整座森林。


第三章 成長——我們的樹長到八公尺高了,有十六層枝條。身處森林生態系,透過真菌從根部獲得其他樹木夥伴的好處,提升了存活機會。中世紀結束那年,世界普遍對植物更加了解,開始用科學的眼光觀察植物。清教徒第一次在新大陸收成的那個九月,我們的樹準備好了,雌毬張開苞片,把四萬顆帶著翅膀的種子,釋放到溫暖、乾燥的秋空中。


第四章 成熟——三百年來,我們這棵樹已經躋身老熟林,總在九月的和風中散播種子——是澄腹赤松鼠的最愛,四天就可以貯存過冬所需。道氏赤松鼠也每年吃掉樹上一半毬果;候鳥遷徙時路過,也會在此大快朵頤,補給蛋白質與熱量。老熟林中的枯立木被飛鼠占據,偶有巨木倒下,空間馬上被藤楓、鮭莓、和越橘等填滿,木蟻也在腐爛的樹幹上,建立了龐大的聚落。


第五章 死亡——我們這棵樹,生於馬可波羅覲見忽必烈的時代,倒於華爾街

崩盤那一年,七百年前的幼苗,逐漸腐爛、分解,將在大自然中繼續支撐新的生命。沒有樹會永遠活著,但是,樹也不會真正死亡殆盡。日後若有人走過這座森林,依然感受到這棵花旗松與地球萬物合為一體的奇妙,且終身受用。




出版社 貓頭鷹 (城邦) 

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