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The Nude Beach Notebook
by Barbara J. Scot
Oregon State University Press, 2014
Paper: 978-0-87071-740-6 | eISBN: 978-0-87071-741-3
Library of Congress Classification F882.S3S36 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 979.549

In this engaging new memoir, a loose sequel to her earlier Prairie Reunion, Barbara Scot explores her reluctance and longing to reconnect with a much-loved brother, lost to alcoholism for thirty years.

Scot uses long, meditative walks on the “clothing optional” beach of the idyllic Sauvie Island near Portland, Oregon, to explore family responsibility, time’s passage, and faith. She weaves entries from her notebook—a record of the island’s wildlife, descriptions of the “Odd Ones” she encounters on the beach, and stories about the native people who once lived on the river—with the main narrative, tracing her search for her brother, her close friendship with a fellow writer, and daily life on the houseboat moorage where she lives.

The Nude Beach Notebook highlights the importance of place as a means for exploring and interpreting one’s own story. In the end, Scot’s walks on Sauvie Island lead to her own redemptive journey. She considers the uses of fiction and non-fiction in memory and in writing, the brevity and beauty of human existence, and the inscrutable, enduring mystery of death.

See other books on: 1942- | Brothers and sisters | Natural history | Oregon | Walking
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