The Southern Environmental Law Center is pleased to announce the winners of this year's Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. In the Book category, North Carolina writer Thomas Rain Crowe won for ZORO'S FIELD: MY LIFE IN THE APPALACHIAN WOODS.
Rain Crowe's book is the result of his having spent four years living alone in a cabin, without electricity or plumbing, deep in the woods of western North Carolina, and clearly brings to mind the experiences of another who wrote of his time living at an isolated pond in New England in the mid-19th century. Rain Crowe, after a long absence from his native southern Appalachians, inhabits a cabin he helped build years before, on a North Carolina farm once owned by a man named Zoro Guice. The book chronicles both the internal and external world of Rain Crowe - digging a root cellar, being a good listener, gathering wood, living in the moment, tending a mountain garden?as he pursues a life of conscious simplicity, spirituality, and environmental responsibility.
Of Rain Crowe, author, journalist and Phil Reed judge Charles Seabrook says: "He writes eloquently and passionately about living off the land and learning to appreciate nature in all its glory. In the end, though, he shows how quickly nature?s wonders can be lost when we forego our vigilance to protect them." ZORO'S FIELD is published by the University of Georgia Press, which plans to issue a paperback edition this fall..
This is the third honor ZORO'S FIELD. It previously won the 2005 Ragan Old North State Award Cup for Nonfiction, given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. The book also received an honorable mention in the 2006 IPPY Awards, sponsored by Independent Publisher magazine