In November of 2000, after the presidential election but before the final results had been handed down by the Supreme Court, John Daniel climbed into his pickup, drove to a remote location in Oregon’s Rogue River Canyon, and quit civilization. The strictures were severe. No two-way human communication — not even with his wife — no radio, no music, not even his cat. He would isolate himself in a cabin sure to be snowed in soon after his arrival, intent on hearing no human voice but his own until spring thawed the road. This experiment in solitude was an attempt to clarify his identity while pursuing daily life without the distractions of the world at large. Daniel had spent a week or two alone before, but this would be an entirely new challenge, and as he drove off into the mountains he felt a fear-tinged freedom. This book chronicles his journey in solitude, a season of memory, and his search for a coherent place to stand on the earth.
Rogue River Journal
A Winter Alone
List Price: $17.95
"Sustained by the natural world, Daniel grapples with the demons of midlife and finds wholeness in this funny, wry and searingly honest book.” —Los Angeles Times
JOHN DANIEL lives in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a two-time winner of the Oregon Book Award for Literary Nonfiction, he is the author of eight books of memoir, poetry, and personal essays.
“Sustained by the natural world, Daniel grapples with the demons of midlife and finds wholeness in this funny, wry and searingly honest book.” —Los Angeles Times
“This honest, satisfying memoir is a fine gift from a writer whose ghosts accepted his invitation to the madrone-shaded homestead above the Rogue.” —The Oregonian
“Rogue River Journal is history, memoir, philosophy and discovery all mixed together into a little gem of enlightenment.” —Statesman Journal
“Daniel’s memoir is about letting the conscious, thinking mind find a resting place so that dim images from the past might come more clearly into focus and take on a lived, emotional reality that only the writer can evoke.” —Eugene Weekly
“A candid but polished sojourn into solitude and memory.” —Kirkus
“During his season of solitude in the Oregon wilderness, John Daniel went fishing for more than steelhead trout, went hunting for more than grouse. What he sought, and what this book shows that he found, was wholeness. He traced the patterns that give coherence to his own life, and he glimpsed the integrity—the holiness—of rivers, mountains, family, and all things else. Rogue River Journal is a witty and wise testament by a man writing at the height of his powers.” —Scott Russell Sanders, author of Divine Animal
“Rogue River Journal touches, more than a little, the fountains of glory in wild lands skirting the Rogue River. It touches another kind of glory also, and with equal elegance-the past, the relationship between a son and a father, as John Daniel recalls, with honesty, flamboyance, tenderness and true regard for his father’s life, his own journey toward manhood. It is an extraordinary book.” —Mary Oliver, author of Blue Horses: Poems
“Part memoir, part family portrait, part natural history, part Zen journal, John Daniel’s study of solitude, self, and father is intricate, straightfacedly funny, unflinchingly honest, and as satisfying in the end as a long stay beside the great green river that helped give it birth.” —David James Duncan, author of God Laughs and Plays
“Planning a quiet, solitary winter beside a wilderness river, poet John Daniel instead finds himself plunging headlong through sucker holes and blackwater eddies of memory and regret. [He] is a national treasure, writing to the world from his Northwest home in language that is muscular and true.” —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of The Pine Island Paradox
“Rogue River Journal is a witty and wise testament by a man writing at the height of his powers.” —Scott Russell Sanders, author of Hunting for Hope