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Kathleen Jamie, Surfacing

The reviews are mostly correct, in saying that Kathleen Jamie's linked essay collection  Surfacing  is both a thoughtful and a delightful read. Writing in  The Scotsman , Allan Massie remarks on the book's deep sense of gravity and time: "Jamie is concerned with the worlds we have lost, barely remember, yet seek to recover, and the world we have made and are in danger of destroying." In essence, Jamie travels all over the world to places where either we're uncovering ancient cultures that were lost in place, or where we're burying contemporary cultures in place, looking at these points of calamity with clearer eyes than I could ever manage. In spite of its subjects though, or perhaps because of it, this is a writerly book and an achievement and something of a joy: "the whole thing shimmers," as Tim Hannigan suggests in The Asian Review of Books . Jamie specializes in a practical-seeming prose that doesn't dissolve when you spend some time with it

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