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Book Reviews

The Small Heart of Things

Being at Home in a Beckoning World

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To understand Julian Hoffman’s goals in The Small Heart of Things, you must consider two ideas from his preface: 1) “Awareness is becoming acquainted with environment, no matter where one happens to be,” in the words of Sigurd Olson, and 2) in describing the essence and beauty of place, Hoffman writes, “The way anywhere can take hold, and burrow deep within. … Which is why these days I prefer to think of place as wherever I happen to be, and the relationship that can be brokered with it.”

In writing this remarkable work of environmental and natural-history literature, Hoffman resided in the Prespa Lakes Transboundary Park shared by Greece, Albania, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. These seventeen short essays capture an intensely focused, curious, tireless, supremely gifted writer as he acquaints himself with himself and one of the world’s most unique places.

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