Fawn Island

Fawn Island

Douglas Wood

192 Pages, 5 x 8 in

  • Paperback
  • 9780816631766
  • Published: January 2, 2018
  • eBook
  • 9781452904450
  • Published: February 13, 2001


Fawn Island

Douglas Wood

ISBN: 9780816631766

Publication date: January 2nd, 2018

192 Pages


8 x 5

"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 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. 

Douglas Wood has written many books, including the best-selling Old Turtle, Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth, Paddle Whispers (Minnesota, 2004), and Deep Woods, Wild Waters (Minnesota, 2017). He has been honored with the American Booksellers Book of the Year Award, The Christopher Medal, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education.