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my works

All the Wild that Remains

Follow me as I follow Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner on a tour of the American West (and their lives). "“All the Wild That Remains” ought to be devoured by everyone who cares about the Earth and its future. “For me there is no wild life without a moral life,” Gessner writes with all the force that Henry David Thoreau might have expressed. " San Francisco Chronicle.

The Tarball Chronicles,

Follow me down into the Gulf during the height of last summer's BP oil spill.

My Green Manifesto,

Follow my wild trip down the Charles River with Dan Driscoll as I work my way toward a new environmentalism.

Soaring With Fidel

An irreverent, absorbing, and insightful tale of one man’s adventures following the great 7,000-mile osprey migration across two continents.

"Soaring with Fidel is a grand and cheering journey on the wings of one of nature's most sociable predators. It's impossible to watch an osprey hovering above a crystal calm bay and not envy the great bird's freedom. Now, thanks to David Gessner, we are invited to follow."
--Carl Hiaasen

"Gessner's rollicking road-trip account of 21st Century hawkwatching captures the essence of both migrating ospreys and the mixed bag of people who track them. Equal doses of Jack Kerouac and Roger Tory Peterson promise to enshrine Soaring with Fidel in the pantheon of great travel writing and natural history."
--Keith Bildstein, author of Migrating Raptors of the World

Now in stores and on-line!

The Prophet of Dry Hill

“Reading The Prophet of Dry Hill is like taking a long, soul-satisfying walk with two remarkable naturalists, John Hay and David Gessner. Through Hay’s wise words and Gessner’s keen observations, we witness a gentle unfolding of a friendship seeded in a shared passion for the natural world, and nurtured in the unpredictability of human connectedness. A literary paean to the important work of naturalist and writer John Hay, The Prophet of Dry Hill is a lyrical tribute to compassion, wildness, and wonder.”

—Kate Whouley, author of Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved

Return of the Osprey

Algonquin Books, March 2001
Paper: Ballantine, Spring 2002

“This beautifully written story of a season with birds of prey makes for engrossing reading as we learn about osprey life from a master essayist.”

--Booklist (boxed starred review)

“Gessner’s witnessing of an osprey’s dive—a wing-folded plunge of 50 feet or more, talons extended at the last moment to spear a fish and carry it to the surface and then aloft—is the obvious high point of his season observing ospreys in Brewster and Dennis and the nearby waters of Cape Cod. But it is the mark of how fine a nature writer Gessner is that his descriPtion of the more prosaic activity of nest-building is as perfectly realized as the accounts of the thrilling dives. ‘Return of the Osprey’ can, on those grounds alone, claim a place among the classics of American nature writing.
“…A reader could put “Return of the Osprey” aside at this point and feel the satisfaction that comes at the end of a memorable book. But Gessner has only been waiting for his chance for him, and the ospreys, to dazzle. And when it comes, Gessner puts you right there.”
--The Boston Globe

Sick of Nature

University Press of New England, June 2004
Despite the title, Sick of Nature is an attempt to instill new life into the nature genre while clearing out the sanctimonious tone that sometimes clouds the air of nature books. The new book ranges far and wide: from ultimate Frisbee to ecotones to coyotes in the suburbs to ospreys (as usual) to my (strong) feelings about trophy homes.

A Wild, Rank Place

University Press of New England, 1997
"Reveling in the smells of the sea, freshly cut grass, honeysuckle, sawdust, and even dead kelp, Gessner quietly provokes us into a heightened understanding of both nature and ourselves."
—-Booklist

"A Wild, Rank Place is an intensely written book about living an intense life. David Gessner is magnificently self-conscious, and therefore, paradoxically, he has written a book that will help each of us take stock of our lives."
—-Bill McKibben

"There are small surprises on every page of this touching, troubling memoir."
—-Boston Globe

Under the Devil's Thumb

University of Arizona Press, 1999
"Gessner's essays are on fire. He shows us that we can have delightful, imaginative and creative lives by becoming more rooted and connected to the place where we are...Wise and enlivening, provoking us into a higher understanding of both nature and ourselves."
--Rocky Mountain News

"David Gessner writes with a brave, wild gusto that is impossible to ignore. In the face of cancer, environmental devastation and madness, this book is a howl of joy."
--Brady Udall

"An abundantly life-enhancing book. And a joyous one. In moving between Cape Cod and the Rockies, his expansive energies not only explore his sense of place in East and West. He pores over the 'muchness' of their different natural worlds as they waken his relation to them, and to life itself."
--Reg Saner