Radical Homemaking & Foxfire Magazine: Background information when reading Once Upon a River

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Once Upon a River

By Bonnie Jo Campbell

Once Upon a River
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  • Hardcover: Jul 2011,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2012,
    352 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
Radical Homemaking & Foxfire Magazine

At various points throughout Once Upon a River, Margo forages for vegetables, traps muskrats and raccoons, pinpoints the change in seasons by minutely observing foliage, chops firewood, whitewashes her boat, skins fish, and shoots deer. While the men all praise her aim with a rifle and her self-reliance, she is not as much of an anomaly as they might think; Margo is actually an unwitting adherent to the "back to the land" movement that began in the 1960s and has recently enjoyed an upsurge in popularity in various forms (homesteading, permaculture, off-the-grid, the locavore movement).

As the 21st century's love affair with technology becomes less a choice and more a requirement, a growing number of women are bucking (or at least reframing) its grasp to craft sustainable lifestyles that value close relationships with the earth and minimize labor-saving devices in favor of the slow pleasures of traditional homemaking.

Much as middle- and upper-class women in the ...

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