Join us for a conversation with Dean Kuipers, author of The Deer Camp: A Memoir of a Father, a Family, and the Land that Healed Them and Gavin Van Horn, author of Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds, as they talk about human interdependence with nature, reconnecting with an abundant wildness where you are, and how ecological restoration can also heal us and our families.
Some families have to dig hard to find the love that holds them together. Some have to grow it out of the ground. The Deer Camp: A Memoir of a Father, a Family, and the Land that Healed Them is the true story of the author’s family and the power of nature.
Bruce Kuipers was good at hunting, fishing and working, but not at much else that makes a real father or husband. Conflicted, angry, and a serial cheater, he destroyed his relationship with his wife, Nancy, and alienated his three sons—journalist Dean, woodsman Brett, and troubled yet brilliant fisherman Joe. He distrusted people and clung to rural America as a place to hide.
So when Bruce purchased a 100-acre hunting property as a way to reconnect with his sons, they resisted. The land was the perfect bait, but none of them knew how to be together as a family. Conflicts arose over whether the land – an old farm that had been degraded and reduced to a few stands of pine and blowing sand – should be left alone or be actively restored. After a decade-long impasse, Bruce acquiesced, and his sons proceeded with their restoration plan. What happened next was a miracle of nature.
Dean Kuipers weaves a beautiful and surprising story about the restorative power of land and of his own family, which so desperately needed healing. Heartwarming and profound, THE DEER CAMP: A Memoir of a Father, a Family, and the Land that Healed Them is the perfect story of fathers, sons, and the beauty and magic of the natural world.
“In this poignant, honest memoir, Dean Kuipers guides readers through forests that feel both familiar and wild, in search of a family and a father he’d never known. The Deer Camp deftly navigates the deep and often complicated relationships between who we are and the places we love.”
– Caroline Van Hemert, author of THE SUN IS A COMPASS
Dean Kuipers is an author, journalist and editor with longstanding interests in ecology, music and good writing about anything at all. He is the author of the 2009 nonfiction book, Operation Bite Back, which is the story of eco-radical Rod Coronado and the use of domestic terrorism charges against U.S. environmental activists. His book Burning Rainbow Farm, about the 2001 FBI shooting of two libertarian pot activists on a farm in Michigan, was selected as a 2007 Michigan Notable Book. At the Los Angeles Times, he concurrently edited the paper’s Nightlife coverage and the environmental blog, Greenspace.
Gavin Van Horn is the Director of Cultures of Conservation for the Center for Humans and Nature, a nonprofit organization that focuses on conservation ethics. He is the author of Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds. He is the coeditor of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness and Wildness: Relations of People and Place, and he writes for, edits, and curates the City Creatures Blog atwww.humansandnature.org/blog. He lives in Evanston, IL.