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The Tarheel Connection:
An Environmental Romance

By Charles Ray
ISBN: 978-0-944619-69-8

2003, 8½x11", 324 pages, hardbound book, includes original poetry.

From back cover:

You may surely judge this unusual book by its correspondingly unusual front cover. The setting is the modern day Walden Pond where more than one hundred and fifty years ago Henry David Thoreau strove to live a simple life in harmony with nature. There, his experiences led to his classic literary work, Walden; or, Life in the Wood (published 1854). Several aspects of the cover suggest the common themes of Walden and The Tarheel Connection: the restrictions on human freedom by fences and chains, the emptiness and failures of mass communication by the mail and newspaper services, and the clutter and litter of American society by the junked car and waste can.

Only the black and tan hound and the green grass express authentic life and naturalness. And it is this authenticity and naturalness that the characters in Charles Ray’s novel struggle to achieve. Although they’re contemporary, Robert Hill, Walker Turner, Sequoia II, L. P., and Carlene Barkley express revised versions of American History, its perilous present and its eventual collapse.

Not all is gloom and fatalism, however. Charles Ray’s story combines tragedy and comedy in nearly equal amounts which, he claims, pretty much sums up our unpredictable existence regardless of our aspirations and accomplishments.


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