The Salt House is a beautifully observed and written memoir of a long summer's stay on the back shore of Cape Cod. Each chapter is like a prose poem, shedding increasing light on the challenge of finding "home" without the illusion of permanence, a quest based not on ownership but on affinity and familiarity with an area and its people. Cynthia Huntington expands her theme through images of the landscape, the shack, the new marriage. The shack, named "Euphoria," is built as a house set on stilts above the sand, to take the wind under it. Only a partial shelter, it is inhabited for only one season a year, yet it endures. The outer cape has the feel of a place for migrants and drifters -- for birds and other wildlife, and for people such as artists, fishermen, and coast guardsmen. A place where "year-round" often means several addresses. Similarly, her narrative describes improvised, fragile beginnings: a new marriage, learning to be at home in the world, becoming intimate with the natural world, without the necessity of settling down. The Salt House shares a world that is less natural history or memoir than it is neighborhood exploration -- the process of learning a place and becoming native to it.
Buy The Salt House book by Cynthia Huntington from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Dartmouth College Press
Publisher: University Press of New England
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Cynthia Huntington
Cynthia Huntington, Professor of English and Chair of Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, also teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. Author of We Have Gone to the Beach (1996) and The Fish-Wife (1986), she has a long association with the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Her new collection of poems The Radiant will be published by Four Way Books in February 2003 (see page 30).