Quarry Fox And Other Critters of the Wild Catskills

The Quarry Fox

And Other Critters of the Wild Catskills


Price: $25.00

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  • Publication Date: March 7, 2017
  • Imprint: Abrams Press
  • Trim Size: 5 12 x 8 14
  • ISBN: 9781468312478
  • Page Count: 256
  • Rights: World + Canada, excluding Brit. Cmmnwlth and EU

A red fox stands poised at the edge of a woodchuck den, his ears perked for danger as two pudgy fox cubs frolic nearby. A mother black bear and her cubs hibernate beneath a felled tree. A barred owl snags a hapless cottontail from a meadow with its precise talons. In The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of the Wild Catskills, Leslie T. Sharpe trains her keen eye and narrative gifts on these and other New York wildlife through her tales of close observations as a naturalist living in the Great Western Catskills. The Quarry Fox is the first in-depth study of Catskill wildlife since John Burroughs invented the genre of nature-writing, in which Sharpe weaves her experiences with the seasons, plants, and creatures with the natural history of each organism, revealing their sensitivity to and resilience against the splendor and cruelty of Nature.Sharpe's frank, scientific observations join with her deeply felt connection to these creatures to instill in readers an appreciation of the undaunted and variegated beauty of the Catskills and camaraderie with its animals. From contemplating the importance of milkweed for monarchs to lay their eggs to reveling in the first steps of a wobbly fawn, The Quarry Fox is a celebration of the natural world and our place in it.


"A poignant and modern reminder of untamed creatures so close to home."
The New York Times, Sam Roberts
“Environmentalist Leslie T. Sharpe writes with imagery and deep connection to the delicate ecosystem [of the Catskills].”
USA Toda
“An intimate portrait . . . Sharpe’s prose is firmly rooted in the rhythms of this particular place. Although her book is ostensibly about the animals with which she shares her patch of forest—the quarry fox of the title, for example—Sharpe is at her best when she’s writing about the subtle changes in season visible only to those who have practiced years of close observation. . . . The Quarry Fox also enlivens the landscape, imbuing the humble hills and streams of Sharpe’s backyard with wonder and awe.”
Sierra Magazine
“Sharpe’s passion is heartwarming, but more importantly, it engenders a deep sense of regard for the future of these creatures and the often precarious wilderness they inhabit. What earns this book its place alongside those of John Burroughs, Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Annie Dillard are Sharpe’s elegant meditations on the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world.”
“To enter Leslie T. Sharpe’s narrative world is to consent to view the Catskills ecosystem through a lens of wonder and attention to modest detail . . .  Sharpe demonstrates an impressive capacity to transmit her visceral awe to the reader. Her subjects are varied, but all inspire lyrical language. . . . Those without prior knowledge of the region will learn much; those who are more familiar may enjoy the recognition Sharpe’s prose inspires, how a vignette might trigger their own fond memories.”
The Literary Review
“Naturalist Leslie Sharpe is a first-rate shaper of English prose and an indefatigable walker out in the wilderness, but more importantly, as she demonstrates in her luminous new book The Quarry Fox, she’s an extremely skilled noticer. It isn’t only the ‘critters’ of the Great Western Catskills who attract this scrutiny; some of the book’s best passages deal with trees and rocks, with the ways the landscape shapes the people who pay close attention to it. . . . Sharpe turns her ‘seeing eye’ on everything she encounters in The Quarry Fox. Readers who’ve never trekked the Catskills will feel as though they have—and in the best company, too.”
Open Letters Monthly
“A lyrical celebration . . . This engaging portrait of the Catskill wilderness will appeal to nature enthusiasts of all stripes.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“I adore this book, and I adore [Leslie Sharpe’s] work.”
“The Roundtable,” WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Joe Donahue
“In stunning prose, Sharpe illumines the lives of the creatures who inhabit the Catskills, spinning a tale of the web of life and our relationship to it. It’s a treat not to be missed.”
Writer’s Voice “Summer Reading Pick”, Francesca Rheannon
“Lovely . . . if you need a break like I do from politics occasionally, take my advice. Open up this book and reconnect to what really matters.”
WCNY Capitol Pressroom, Susan Arbetter
The Quarry Fox is an amazing work, as much a clarion call announcing a quietly strong new voice in nonfiction writing and reflection as a key work about this unique region. Sharpe is a methodical observer, a careful walker of woods, a strong memoirist of all she encounters. Moreover, she is a keen analyst of the world around her, mixing a steady, patient eye for how things are with both a scientist’s love for solid research and a theologian, or maybe an alchemist’s way of getting at often unseen truths. . . . Stories unfold the way a forest does when walking through it . . . A gentle, thoughtful book . . . as radiant as a wild forest.”
The Woodstock Times
“Sharpe possesses serious writing chops when simply taking a snapshot of the world around her. Her prose is rooted in place like a hemlock clings to an old blue Catskills' mountainside.”