Stories from the Land
Tennesseans share a special relationship with the land they call home. Whether you are a newcomer or a resident for generations, Tennessee gets into your blood and becomes a part of who you are. In recent decades, however, modernization has obscured the physical and spiritual ties Tennesseans have with the land, causing environmental degradation, ignorance of natural laws, and disrespect for the land-based values upon which the state was built.
Gary W. Cook seeks to revive the fundamental relationship with nature through the examples, words, and actions of his fictional characters and communities. Each story in Oakseeds highlights a kind of conflict representing modern society’s struggle for survival and demonstrates how individuals can respond to these conflicts in ways harmonious with the land’s teachings.
Cook’s stories communicate a message of environmental awareness, stressing the importance of good stewardship. After all, the preservation of Tennessee’s natural resources means the preservation of what makes Tennesseans unique—that mysterious bond between society and land that defies clear-cut definition but can be seen in the eyes of farmers surveying their pastures, hikers enjoying the natural beauty of a fall outing, or fishermen patiently casting their lines in bountiful lakes and streams.
Oakseeds, written by a lifetime Tennessee resident and professional wildlife biologist, is a celebration of the bonds between the state’s individuals, communities, and natural beauty that will reawaken pride and respect for Tennessee’s most prize possession—its natural resources.
The Author: Gary W. Cook is assistant regional manager for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Jackson.