The Cajun coast of Louisiana is home to a way of life as unique, complex, and beautiful as the terrain itself. As award-winning travel writer Mike Tidwell journeys through the bayou, he introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that makes it unlike any other place in the world. But seeing the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, and whole cemeteries sinking into swampland and out of sight, Tidwell also explains why each introduction may be a farewell—as the storied Louisiana coast steadily erodes into the Gulf of Mexico.
Part travelogue, part environmental exposé, Bayou Farewell is the richly evocative chronicle of the author's travels through a world that is vanishing before our eyes.
- Item Weight : 13.1 ounces
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375725173
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint Edition (March 9, 2004)
- Product Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
Mike Tidwell knew nothing of the disappearing bayou country when he first visited the Cajun coast of Louisiana, but the evidence was all around him: the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, whole cemeteries sinking into swampland and out of sight, telephone poles in deep, standing water. Thanks to human hands, the storied Louisiana coast was eroding, subsiding, and joining the Gulf of Mexico?-making it the fastest disappearing landmass on Earth. Yet no one seemed to know how to talk about the problem. Tidwell, a celebrated travel and environmental writer, decided to begin the much-needed conversation, and this vivid, elegiac book is the result.
Tidwell introduces us to the surprisingly varied population of the area: the Cajun men and women who work the seasonal shrimp harvest, the Vietnamese fishermen, the Houma Indians driven to the farthest ends of the bayou by the first European settlers. He describes the food, the music, the culture, and the life of all those who live along the bayous. And under his keenly observant eye, the bayou itself becomes a compelling character?-reminding us of how much we stand to lose if we fail to address the problems facing this most vibrant of places.
Part travelogue, part environmental exposé, Bayou Farewell is the richly evocative chronicle of the author's travels through a place and a way of life that are vanishing virtually before our eyes.