“Tarka the Otter” by Henry Williamson. TNS
Reading “Tarka the Otter” is a beautiful, heady experience — like spending two years wandering a riverbank in rural England. The subtitle sums up the book neatly — it is the story of the “joyful water-life and death” of an otter in rural Devon. But even though Tarka dies in the end, this classic novel (written in 1927 by Henry Williamson, newly republished by New York Review Books) is neither sad nor depressing.
Beginning with Tarka’s birth, it takes us almost day by day through his life — learning to swim and fish, wrestling and sliding down riverbanks with his littermates and mother, heading off to find a mate.
Beauty is everywhere — in the glinting surface of the river, the twittering birds, the silent herons. But danger is also everywhere: Everything eats everything else. And the local farmers hunt otters, which they consider to be vermin. One otter-hunting dog — Deadlock — is particularly ominous.
There’s no anthropomorphizing here — just an otter’s life, with all its perils and joys. “Time flowed with the sunlight of the still green place. The summer drake-flies, whose wings were as the most delicate transparent leaves, hatched from their cases on the water and danced over the shadowed surface.”
Charles Tunnicliffe’s woodcuts are as elegant and detailed as Williamson’s prose.
Tribune News Service
From Ali Smith's 'Spring' to “Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain,” by Danny Goldberg, there's something for every kind of reader in the newly released set of paperbacks.
If you're looking for a new book to read while being homebound, check out these bingeable series, ranging from genres such as sci-fi/fantasy to classics and historical dramas to mysteries.
Now Calhoun, the author of a memoir, “The Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give,” and an urban history, “St. Marks Is Dead,” explores the issue in depth in her latest book, “Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis.”
Looking back 40 years later, Mark David Chapman said he thinks all the time about the pain he inflicted on Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono.
The actor will be enlisting the support of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company for a new Nasa-backed film project that is scheduled to shoot in space in October 2021.
Nigerian art collector Yemisi Shyllon wants to see works created by Nigerian artists and the country's historical artefacts receive the same recognition at home as they are increasingly attracting overseas.