The Survival of the Bark Canoe

John McPhee

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

Download Image John McPhee The Survival of the Bark Canoe

Available Formats

BookeBook
In Greenville, New Hampshire, a small town in the southern part of the state, Henri Vaillancourt makes birch-bark canoes in the same manner and with the same tools that the Indians used. The Survival of the Bark Canoe is the story of this ancient craft and of a 150-mile trip through the Maine woods in those graceful survivors of a prehistoric technology. It is a book squarely in the tradition of one written by the first tourist in these woods, Henry David Thoreau, whose The Maine Woods recounts similar journeys in similar vessel. As McPhee describes the expedition he made with Vaillancourt, he also traces the evolution of the bark canoe, from its beginnings through the development of the huge canoes used by the fur traders of the Canadian North Woods, where the bark canoe played the key role in opening up the wilderness. He discusses as well the differing types of bark canoes, whose construction varied from tribe to tribe, according to custom and available materials. In a style as pure and as effortless as the waters of Maine and the glide of a canoe, John McPhee has written one of his most fascinating books, one in which his talents as a journalist are on brilliant display.

Connect with the Author

John McPhee

Official Sites


Related Links


Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

Survival of the Bark Canoe, The
THE SURVIVAL OF THE BARK CANOEWhen Henri Vaillancourt goes off to the Maine woods, he does not make extensive plans. Plans annoy him. He just gets out his pack baskets, tosses in some food and gear, takes a canoe, and goes. He makes (in advance) his own beef jerky--slow-baking for many hours the leanest beef he can find. He takes some oatmeal, some honey, some peanut butter. Not being sure how long he will be gone, he makes only a guess at how much food he may need, although he is going into the Penobscot-Allagash wilderness, north of Moosehead Lake.

Read the full excerpt

Back

Reviews

Praise for The Survival of the Bark Canoe

“In his own beautifully crafted work, McPhee treats both man and boat with all the respect and admiration their precarious presence commands.” -- Time

“Every white water and wilderness buff should rise to it like a trout, but as all followers of Mr. McPhee's work would expect, its appeal and value cannot be so narrowly limited; it's a lively chronicle, rich in character study and observations.” -- The Wall Street Journal


Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

John McPhee

John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written nearly 30 books, including Oranges (1967), Coming into the Country (1977), The Control of Nature (1989), The Founding Fish (2002), Uncommon Carriers (2007), and Silk Parachute (2011). Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977.  In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World.  He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

John McPhee

Peter Cook
John McPhee

Official Sites

Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The Survival of the Bark Canoe
John McPhee

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
May 1982
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374516932
ISBN10: 0374516936
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 160 pages
$14.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 1982
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374708597
ISBN10: 0374708592
160 pages
$9.99
Back

From The Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter

Back