“This is an elegantly written and beautiful book, dominated by powerful, antithetical emotions: grief over the loss of elderly parents and exhilaration with exploring a great American river. There is Huck Finn and his raft and the Mississippi—now there is Susan Fox Rogers and her kayak and the Hudson River to add to the American canon of glorious nature writing.”
“Rogers has delivered a unique love story about the Hudson River. Like all good love stories it is poetic, sometimes sad, full of discovery and history, and ultimately life- affirming. My Reach is a special memoir about intimacy with a river, and self - and the truth that paddling is about living right.”
—Holly Morris, author of Adventure Divas
“Susan Fox Rogers’s lovely and intimate My Reach is a map of the Hudson River that extends in at least three dimensions: time, space, and emotion. As specific as it is, it will resonate with anyone who has experienced a landscape as the setting of both their inner and their outer lives.”
—Luc Sante, author of Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York
“In prose that evokes the great naturalists Edwin Way Teale and Joseph Wood Krutch, Susan Fox Rogers presents an intimate history of the life and death that the Hudson embodies, and the ways a river can sustain the spirit and keep one ‘alert to the richness of the world.’ This is a wonderful book.
—Tom Lewis, Skidmore College, author of The Hudson: A History
“In My Reach, Susan Fox Rogers shares her deep affection for the complex beauty of the Hudson, respecting both the natural and mechanical worlds that form the life of the river. Within the first two pages she sets the stage, appreciating the metallic song of the katydids even as she enjoys the ripeness of two-stroke engine exhaust. This is a lovely and honest portrait of a river whose natural resources have shaped the course of the nation, and buoyed so many lives through loves and losses just like those Rogers confronts in this
—Jessica DuLong, author of My River Chronicles
“In passages clear and active as our imagined dream of the Hudson, Susan Fox Rogers acts as avid guide, giving an intimate ride down a river of personal and historic memory. Her Hudson becomes our Hudson.”
—Edie Meidav, author of The Far Field: A Novel of Ceylon and Crawl Space
“In a fresh and unassuming voice, Susan Fox Rogers sets out to tell the reader what she learns as she comes to know the Hudson River through kayaking near her home in Tivoli, New York, and beyond. What she hadn’t anticipated, however, and what she shared, ultimately, is the heartbreaking and profoundly moving manner in which the river teaches her, as she faces a series of sudden and devastating personal losses, the nature of her very self.”
—Boyer Rickel, author of Taboo
Zocalo Public Square is a rich online journal of arts with a focus on writing. They ran a short piece I wrote on paddling at night.
I picked up a copy of Chronogram, a local free publication and came across this short, good review. My first.
Here is an interview, which ran in the local paper, the Kingston Freeman. Complete with (horrifying for me to watch) video!
Here is an post I wrote for the literary website Berfois.
Elizabeth Floyd at the Albany Times Union wrote a wonderful profile/interview/review.
December 1, 2011
By intensively exploring the Hudson River by kayak, Fox (writing, Bard Coll.; editor, Antarctica: Life on the Ice) found a powerful means to connect with her community, the natural world, and her own emotions. This pensive memoir examines the role of her close connection with the river in helping her deal with the deaths of both her parents. Whether describing a kayak trip around Manhattan, an encounter with a dead body along the river's edge, or the impact of pollution on the river's fauna, Fox's graceful prose and meditative tone offer a personal view into the age-old pull of a great American river as a source of refuge and revival in difficult times. In the opening section, Fox's memoir seems slight and unfocused, but as the pages pass, a quiet power builds from her eloquent observations and raw depiction of facing grief's ravages with the aid of the Hudson's solitude and space.
VERDICT Best-suited to readers interested in memoirs of grief, nature writing, or Hudson River kayaking. Those interested in the river in its historical context may prefer Douglas Hunter's Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World.—Ingrid Levin, Salve Regina Univ. Lib., Newport, RI
(none of these cats are mine, promise)
Milo says: good napping.
"I couldn't put it down. My Reach is catnip for the soul."
Centre Daily Times, Weekend Edition
Griffin wants in on the book--but we know that dogs don't read.
So far, Fargo has enjoyed the sturgeon chapter most.
Mooshy is a Hemingway cat (six toes) so he knows good literature.
Even fake cats like My Reach!
Gnarly learns to read
Wilson, contemplating literature (that, or he needs glasses)
Arnie knows you can judge a book by its cover.
Zizou to Anouk: "I got us each a copy because My Reach is the cat's meow!"
Stella doesn't know that you should not eat and read
Hatshepsut’s pick for best memoir of 2011
Jonah reads by candlelight
Beau was a former student of mine, so know how to read very well
February 4, 7:30, Kendal On Hudson.
March 30, 3-5 Berkshire Women Writer's Festival. Join me, Dawn Paul and Dorothy Albertini as we talk about solo adventures and writing about those adventures. Dawn and Dorothy both contributed to my collection Going Alone. The Berkshire fesitval is a month-long celebration of women writers--check out the many wonderful offerings.
January 20, 7 PM, Antigone Books, Tucson Arizona. Reading with friend and fabulous writer Beth Alvarado! A return to one of my favorite places and where I got my MFA.
January 28, 7 PM, Beczak Environmental Center, Yonkers, NY. This lively center hosts a range of speakers--come join me for "A Hudson River Kayaker's Journey." Wine and cheese will be served! $10 entry fee/$5 for students, teachers, members of paddling clubs and seniors. Money supports the environmental center.
March 15, 6:30 Starr Library, Rhinebeck New York. Come join me at this local library for some Hudson River tales and pictures.
March 19, 7 PM, Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, Blodgett House, Simon's Rock. A month-long celebration of women's writing! Come say hello at my reading on Monday evening.
March 21, 7:30 PM Marist College. Reading/Discussion as part of the Hudson Valley Institute at Marist College. Hancock Center Presentation Room.
July 19, 7:00 Tarrytown Library. Join me in one of the prettiest sections of the river for a reading and talk. This library has an active reading/events series.
July 21, 2-5 Lilac Steamship. A great opportunity to visit a restored steamship on the Hudson! (and I promise--I won't read for three hours--there will be other things going on) Visit the Lilac website to see all of their events and the history of the ship. This event is co-sponsored by the Hudson River Watertrail Association.
July 29, 3:00 Maple Grove, Poughkeepsie New York as part of their Words, Words, Words series. I tried to launch MY REACH with this reading last August, but hurricane Irene swept through (much more exciting than a reading!). I'm trying again this summer, reading with Larry Carr and Bill Rhoads. Check out the Maple Grove site--there are events and great readings through the summer--some include my wonderful colleagues Edie Meidav and Myra Armstead.
September 24, SUNY Oswego, NY. At 3:00 in the Campus Center, I will be speaking to the students in the Living Writers Series class. This year, my good friend Donna Steiner organized the series. Without Donna, I never could have written My Reach. I'll be talking about writing a book that is part nature, part history, part memoir, part adventure...(fyi: the date in the article linked to this is incorrect).
October 12 & 13, Wofford College, Thinking Like A River Conference. John Lane, author of My Paddle to the Sea, has invited me down to speak--and paddle--in South Carolina.
November 7, 9:30-10:45, Woodstock Jewish Center, Woodstock New York.
August 28 at 3 pm-- Maple Grove in Poughkeepsie. I’ll be joining two other authors—Conor Grennan and Mihai Grufeld—at this historic house for an afternoon reading. Event cancelled due to Hurricane Irene!
September 23, 7:30-- Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY. Kick off party and reading! Oblong is a great, independent bookstore that still believes in books and writers. Support them! (and me…!).
October 6, 7:30-- Tivoli Bay Talks. Watts dePeyster Visitor Center, 1 Tivoli Commons, Tivoli, NY (map) This is part of a monthly series of lectures at the Tivoli Center.
October 10 & 11-- SUNY Oswego. I am speaking to students at Oswego about Antarctica: Life on the Ice. But I’ll also slip in a few things about MY REACH. A reading open to the public.
October 12--Speaking to the Rhinebeck chapter of AARP. Reformed Church, Mill St. Rhinebeck, 12:30.
October 16, 4 PM-- Beacon Institute
Beacon Institute is conducting cutting edge scientific work in the Hudson. But they haven’t forgotten the importance of the imagination and arts. They host a Sunday afternoon writer’s series, which has brought in wonderful writers. The gallery always has beautiful artwork (photos/paintings). It’s an inspiring space and I’m honored that they are hosting this event.
October 21, 5:30-6:30 New York State Outdoor Education Association meeting, author reception. Villa Roma Inn, Callicoon, NY.
November 6, 2:00 PM--Town of Esopus Library. A wonderful library just off the Hudson River--join me for a reading, Q&A and river stories.
November 13, 3:00 PM--Red Hook Historical Society. Tivoli--my village--is in the town of Red Hook. I'm grateful we have an active historical society! Join me for a reading, river stories, Q&A.
November 19, 12:30-4:30--Appalachian Outdoors, State College, PA. It was Geoff Brugler, owner of this outdoor shop in my hometown, who first took me hiking, rock climbing, rafting. This event is a day-long outdoor fest (gear, gear, gear!) that will include me signing books. I will be there from 12:30-4:30 and at 2 will give a short talk about how I came to write My Reach. Come say hello. Please.
December 11, 4 PM. Kingston Barnes & Noble. In the middle of holiday shopping I will be there with my book and good cheer. Come say hello. Buy books for all of your friends and relatives!