Monday, February 14, 2011

Craig Childs on National Public Radio

I've been reading a lot of Craig Childs lately--House of Rain, The Secret Knowledge of Water, and now Finders Keepers; A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession--so I thought I'd gather up some links to his own website, some quotes, and his audio interviews on National Public Radio.*

Tracking a Vanished Civilization in the Southwest
About the book House of Rain
" ...This is where the Anasazi lived. Their ruins are everywhere out here, the remains of a great Neolithic civilization. Single buildings the size of the base of the Sears Tower. Huge, round ceremonial chambers with 90-ton ceilings. This was a landscape of monuments... The Anasazi lived here for more than 1,000 years. Then, within a single generation, they were gone. Between 1275 and 1300 A.D., they stopped building entirely, and the land was left empty.

Soul of Nowhere; Author Craig Childs Journeys into the Wilds of the Desert
"There are some landscapes in the desert Southwest where Craig Childs will walk for a month without maps, or even a compass. Maps often do no good in these wild reaches, the author and explorer says."

Archaeology: Not as Dry and Dusty as You Think
About the book, Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession
"...Childs says it can be difficult to strike the right balance between expanding archaeological knowledge and preserving historical sites. 'I've worked on quite a few archaeological excavations where you're down in a trench, digging with a trowel, and wondering, ‘What on earth am I doing, digging through some dead person's belongings?' "

The Civilizations Buried Beneath Us
"Once workers tore up a Phoenix parking lot and found nearly two hundred ancient human burial sites under it. Ceramic jars and finely crafted offerings were tucked among the dead, who rested beneath parked cars for decades. After hearing about that, I look at parking lots differently. I imagine the asphalt like a glass-bottomed boat. Skulls and bones and the blueprints of villages float below."

The Coyote I Didn't See
About the book The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild
"There was a faint shape in the snow, curved as an eggshell. It had been left by a sleeping coyote. I took off my glove and touched the slight glaze of ice from its body heat. It had lain here maybe three hours earlier. Sometimes you can see more of an animal's life in its tracks than face to face."

Craig Childs' own website:
Audio, photographs, guides to the books

* National Public Radio is in danger of losing its funding. Please consider signing a petition to let Congress know that you support public broadcasting. 


becky said...

Thanks, Clair for the links & info. I'm passing your post on to my mom, who is an avid reader & NPR listener.
Have a great day!

southernlady64 said...

Hi Clairz! It has been awhile! I love your header. Wish I was walking in the sand right now. I signed the petition you are talking about. My son works for PBS here in Kentucky. It could put his job in danger, too, and my grandson would lose Big Bird if they go off the air. One of his favorite shows! Finally starting to warm up a bit here. Supposed to be in the 50s this week. Happy Valentine's Day to you.

Linda said...

I really don't understand the ins and outs of American politics, but I would have thought that public radio was a Democrat sort of thing? Or am I guilty of extrapolating from the British context?

clairz said...

Linda, although our President is a Democrat, it's the Republican Party in the House that is proposing cuts to public radio and tv. This seems to come up every few years.