The Pine Barrens
by John McPhee
New Jersey is one of the most densely populated US states, but unknown to many it is also home to a vast wilderness, a forest of pines, oaks and cedars almost identical in size to the Grand Canyon.
This is the Pine Barrens. People tend to think of New Jersey as a suburban thoroughfare, yet huge sections of the Pine Barrens remain uninhabited. The sandy soil is too acidic for farming, but beneath it lies an immense natural reservoir of soft pure water, while millions of wild blueberry and cranberry bushes grow amongst the trees and alongside the rivers.
With his customary curiosity, McPhee sets out to map this mysterious landscape. He retraces its history and meets the ‘pineys’, the often misunderstood people who call the pines home. One resident can navigate the dense woods by sheer memory, and another responds to McPhee’s knock on his door with a pork chop in one hand, a raw onion in the other, and the inimitable greeting, ‘Come in. Come in. Come on the hell in.’
The Pine Barrens is a compelling portrait of a place and its people, captured at a crucial moment when it seemed headed slowly toward extinction.
Paperback: 158 Pages
Product Dimensions: 129 x 198 mm
Published by Daunt Books