That essay began a life path devoted to natural history, nature conservation, and languageâand how they all meet in the literature of the land. Working in a succession of far-flung jobs in biological conservation, teaching, and field research, Pyle eventually gave up a regular paycheck in favor of a freelance existence devoted to his mutual passions for nature study and writing. All along, he wrote, and wrote. To date, he has written twenty books and hundreds of essays, stories, papers, and poems. But it is the occasional proseâthe deeply personal essays that explored and indulged his immediate fascinationsâthat make up this selection of never-before-collected testimonies.
Arranged by decade, Through a Green Lens presents a sampling of Pyleâs work over fifty years, from that first heartfelt essay, written on mountain motel stationery in 1965, to a book foreword written in 2015. Culled from notable magazines and contributions to edited collections, these essays range across broad topical, geographic, and textual territory. They grow out of near-lethal English brambles, vacant lots and ditches in suburban Denver, and railroad yards of the industrial Northeast.
From commentary to criticism, polemic to profileâfrom the lyrical to the elegiacâThrough a Green Lens demonstrates the qualities for which Pyleâs work is well-known: clarity, readability, sharp wit, undiluted conviction, and good-natured tolerance. Pyleâs half-century-long view, acute and uncommonly attuned to the physical world, gives readers a remarkable window on the natural setting of our life and times.
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