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Fawn Island

2001
Author:

Douglas Wood
Illustrations by Douglas Wood

Fawn Island

The acclaimed author of Old Turtle and Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth tells the story of his wilderness retreat in the North Country.

Fawn Island is a place where crows serve as alarm clocks, white-throated sparrows leave the tracks of their songs upon the evening hush, and chickadees help a woodsman learn to whistle. The island is also a jumping-off place for journeys large and small, earthly and spiritual-to nearby Mallard Island, Gull Island, or Bald Rock, by sea kayak into the wild recesses of sprawling Voyageurs National Park, or on a midnight paddle in which the paddler can reach the silent wilderness of the stars themselves. In his latest book, best-selling author Douglas Wood guides the reader on a deep journey into the heart of the North Woods.

Douglas Wood has caught Sigurd Olson's fire.

Les Blacklock

Nature/Regional

The acclaimed author of Old Turtle and Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth tells the story of his wilderness retreat in the North Country.

Fawn Island is a place where crows serve as alarm clocks, white-throated sparrows leave the tracks of their songs upon the evening hush, and chickadees help a woodsman learn to whistle. The island is also a jumping-off place for journeys large and small, earthly and spiritual-to nearby Mallard Island, Gull Island, or Bald Rock, by sea kayak into the wild recesses of sprawling Voyageurs National Park, or on a midnight paddle in which the paddler can reach the silent wilderness of the stars themselves. In his latest book, best-selling author Douglas Wood guides the reader on a deep journey into the heart of the North Woods.

For Wood, Fawn Island is not merely a charming wilderness hideaway; it is the entry to realms of thought and meaning as well. From its pine-clad shores he probes for insights into the nature of neighborliness and independence, of community and solitude. Out of an ancient Ojibwe legend comes an exploration of personal loss and life after death. Wood questions the notion of being a “force of nature” and the concept of the passage of time in the context of seemingly eternal trees, lakes, rock ledges, and stars. From beneath the ascending trunks of pines comes an inquiry into the principles of optimism and, finally, a personal response to the eternal question: Is the universe a friendly place?

Embedded in the text like roots of the island’s pines is Wood’s gentle, self-effacing humor and the author’s own original pen-and-ink drawings that superbly evoke the poetry and mystery of this “small bit of rock and tree,” this “lucky place” in the wilderness.

ISBN 0-8166-3175-1 Cloth/jacket £14.00 $19.95
224 Pages 35 line drawings 5 x 8 February
Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press


Fawn Island

Douglas Wood is the best-selling author of several books for readers of all ages, including Old Turtle (1992), Paddle Whispers (1992), Grandad's Prayers of the Earth (1999), and the new What Dads Can’t Do (2000). One of the North Country’s most experienced wilderness guides, he has led dozens of canoe trips focused on ecology, natural history, and personal growth. He lives near Sartell, Minnesota.

Fawn Island

Douglas Wood has caught Sigurd Olson's fire.

Les Blacklock

Set amid the glories of Voyageurs National Park, Fawn Island offers a delightful getaway for urban readers.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Fawn Island by best-selling author Douglas Wood. In his new work he writes of the wonders of nature at his island retreat, then segues into realms of thought and meaning about universal questions like optimism, the passage of time, and personal loss.

Dave Wood’s Book Report

Wood takes his readers along a personal path of discovery, a path many will find familiar and others will long for. Fawn Island is all about his North Woods hideaway. Tucked away in northern Minnesota, Fawn Island is a jumping-off place for journeys large and small. The book captures the sights, smells and sounds of the woods and shores of Wood’s rustic retreat. In it, he introduces readers to a realm of thought and meaning, pondering the nature of neighborliness, independence, loss, death and time through his observations of the trees, rocky landscape, weather and wildlife. Fawn Island is also about wondering, questions and finding some answers. Some of the questions Wood supplies answers for. Others he asks, only the reader will be able to answer.

St. Cloud Times

Fawn Island is enthusiastically recommended, entertaining, and occasionally inspiring reading for naturalists, armchair travelers, and anyone else who enjoys experiencing what a wilderness retreat in the North Country has to offer.

Midwest Book Review

Wood’s summer retreat on Fawn Island, with its noisy crows, fierce winds and proximity to beautiful Voyageurs National Park, is a personal sanctuary where Wood thinks about Big Issues like immortality and neighborliness, and the tough nature of jack pines and the art of cleaning fish.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

A prime place to open Douglas Wood’s new book, Fawn Island, would be while sitting on the edge of a dock dangling feet in the water. Riding as duffer in a canoe, reading passages aloud to the paddlers would be a good choice, too. But any Minnesota lake venture would certainly enhance the experience. The gentle flow of Wood’s perspective on a piece of land he loves is a reminder of how precious the North Country is. Wood writers a series of essays, some humorous, some of adventure, some chatty, some totally descriptive, and all reflective of the days he spends alone on the island in Rainy Lake.

Bemidji Pioneer

These short essays, both serious and humorous, accompanied by Wood’s simple yet lovely black-and-white drawings, are about a place the author loves, but above all they’re about paying attention, about being in the world.

Bloomsbury Review

While Doug Wood’s subjects are deep, his chapters are short, making contemplations easy to swallow. A book that would make wintertime reading pleasant, evoking warm summer days of cozy cabin living.

Lake Superior Magazine

Fawn Island is best read with a journal in hand and plenty of time to savor its message. Chirping vireos, croaking frogs and richly painted prose inspire a keen yearning for more meaningful relationships with friends, family, and the natural world.

Midwest Living

Wood shares his passions, feelings, and the sounds of his wilderness hideaway. Fawn Island delivers the feelings of the North.

Twin Cities Sports

Fawn Island

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