The Alaska Literary Series
"The collection brims with intellect and lyricism, as Cook writes about climate change, salmon fisheries, Native Alaskan funeral rites, bread-making, aging parents, complex friendships, and much more. Cook’s ferocious curiosity and poetic precision makes this collection a remarkable contribution to ecological nonfiction."
—Great River Review
“As I read this book, I laughed out loud, I cried, and I felt the deep stirrings of my own longings and love of wild landscapes. . . . Wherever we find ourselves, Cook shows us how to bring body, heart, intelligence, historical context, and honest reckoning to the layered landscapes of home.”
Leavetakings is an Alaska-based essay collection propelled by movements of departure and return. Corinna Cook asks: What can coming and going reveal about place? About how a place calls to us? About heeding that call? And might wandering serve not only to map new places but also to map the most familiar ones, like home? Departures and returns in these essays derive in large part from the narrator’s personal experiences of cross-continental travel by pickup truck and by airplane, human-powered expedition-style travel by kayak, regional travel by ferry, and her daily or local travel on foot. But the movement of coming and going at the heart of this collection exceeds the physical, for these essays are also intent on understanding spiritual and psychological pulses of proximity and distance in human connections to other people, their stories, and their homes.