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Drinking the Rain by Alix Kates Shulman

Author: Alix Kates Shulman
Book title: Drinking the Rain
ISBN10: 0786205431
ISBN13: 978-0786205431
Publisher: Thorndike Pr; Large Print edition (October 1, 1995)
Language: English
Pages: 347
Size PDF: 1740 kb
Size FB2: 1621 kb
Size ePUB: 1166 kb
Rating: 4.2 ✯
Votes: 789
Subcategory: Arts & Literature

Drinking the Rain by Alix Kates Shulman

At fifty, Alix Kates Shulman, author of the celebrated feminist novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, left a city life dense with political activism, family, and literary community, and went to live alone on an island off the Maine coast. On a windswept beach, in a cabin with no plumbing, power, or telephone, she found to her astonishment that she was learning to live all over again, discovering capacities for thought, feeling, and sensual delight that she had never imagined before. Her transforming summer experiences were only the beginning, though. In this luminous, spirited book, she charts her subsequent path - as she learned to celebrate the joys of meditative solitude, and to integrate her new awareness into a busy, committed, even hectic mainland life.
Reviews (7)
Best West
This book was inspirational for me, primarily because of Ms. Shulman's independence and self-sufficiency at her little nubble. I was not interested in the book from a feminist point-of-view per se, but I did enjoy the aspects of living off what nature provided and being sensitive to the Earth, solitude and rebirth and being mindful of our wastes. I identified with her about her insecurities and fears, wondering if she could really make it on her own. Her life was not necessarily romantic and easy when you consider the lack of indoor plumbing and running water. I loved the relationship between Ms. Shulman and her friend Margaret and how they easily were able to synchronize their everyday activities. By the end of the book I felt very connected to things around me and my environment. I especially enjoyed the information about herbs and usage and have since included some of these in my own day-to-day eating. While the book had its slow parts if you continue on it will be well worth your while. This is definitely a book I'll keep and read again.

"I want my thoughts to be as patient and slow as the heron standing at the water's edge fishing the incoming tide for as long as it takes to catch the treasures swimming by. Or I want them, like the barnacles opening up to feed when the tide comes in, to filter the plankton newly streaming around me, so rich and abundant that what I can't find here hardly seems worth having."

"That night I struggle to remember that fear is a burden, a malady, a body-snatcher that can drive one mad. I count the fears I've overcome, reliving the triumph of my first dive from the high board, first arrest, first speech before strangers, first solo summer on the nubble -- all of which from this side of the divide seem like nothing at all, certainly nothing to claim any credit for."
GAMER
Not much to say here except that I loved this book from beginning to end and have since been on a quest for books just like it. If any one knows of others in this class, please point me to them.

At midlife myself, I've treasured coming alongside Shulman through this more relaxed, quiet season of her life. I find she's still totally empowered as a woman, but in a completely different way - not the vocal feminist of younger years. A take-away quote from pg. 158 attributed to George Sands that's become one of my favorite is, "The day I buried my youth I became 20-years younger." Good food for thought.

After completing "Drinking the Rain" I found myself intersted in her homelife away from the beach so I quickly followed it up with her "To Love What Is", another book I enjoyed but for different reasons.

I wouldn't sell my copy of Drinking for any price. Merely seeing it rest on my nightstand fills me with hope and reassurance.
mr.Mine
Though this book had possibilities, it spent too much time discussing edible wild plants and fish available along the east coast of Maine.I found it mildly interesting, but probably will pass it on to Goodwill when I finish it. Not one I would read again or share.
SiIŠµnt
I can understand some people's opinion that this book can drag on a bit, but I think once you get into the layers of things it is a really great book. The Island, The Mainland and The World represent her own life and the changes she undergoes. As she mentions herself at the beginning and the end, there is a dualism to this book and her life. Once you manage to see that, this is an excellent book.
Hugighma
The book was much too wordy for me. Had to skim through some pages to get to the story. This was a book club book for me but I would not recommend it to anyone to read.
energy breath
Shulman is much wiser, gutsiest, and more philosophical in this non-fiction prose book than I remembered from her Prom Queen days. Her vivid, Thoreau-esque account of living alone on a stony Maine outcrop, made me eager to look up all the flora and fauna she depended upon. I was--kinda--invited to be there, and loved it.
Querlaca
Woman alone on the beach at 50+, Anne Morrow Lindbergh meets Yule Gibbons (meets Gloria Steinem). Bought this book again after it got ruined.
What a study of self. I identified with the author on the book. A great book to reread to get more information and application of self to study, our own info.

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