The Carry Home


“Here is alchemy; equal parts intellect, courage and honesty. In The Carry Home Gary Ferguson has accomplished what only the best of us can hope to achieve in a lifetime; he has spun grief into a golden exultation of the natural world and its ability to heal our wounds.” -Mark Spragg – author of Where Rivers Change Direction and An Unfinished Life

“Praise Gary Ferguson, for taking us on the most intimate journey from utter loss and devastation through rebirth and all the way to wonder, for letting the wilderness that had always saved him, save him again. Praise him for this big hearted, lyrical and loving reminder of why we went to the wilderness in the first place, of how it saved us and made us—and how it might still. If we are courageous enough to love it in all its diminishments, if we are brave enough to fight for what remains.” -Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

The Carry Home: Lessons from the American Wilderness
The Carry Home

Counterpoint Press 2014, hardcover


A haunting meditation on wilderness, conservation, and grief by the critically-acclaimed nature writer in his most intimate and riveting book yet. The Carry Home is both a moving celebration of the outdoor life shared between Gary Ferguson and his wife Jane, who died tragically in a canoeing accident in northern Ontario in 2005, and a chronicle of the mending, uplifting power of nature. Confronting his unthinkable loss, Ferguson set out to fulfill Jane’s final wish: the scattering of her ashes in five remote, wild locations they loved and shared. The Carry Home offers a powerful glimpse into how the natural world can be a critical prompt for moving through cycles of immeasurable grief, how bereavement can turn to wonder, and how one man rediscovered himself in the process of saying goodbye. In addition, it is an invitation – and in many ways, a blueprint – for how Americans might create a far more hopeful, more empowered relationship to their last wild places. Recent blogs featuring The Carry Home: Grief Comes Home


Publishers Weekly, describes The Carry Home as “a memoir that doubles as an intensely personal, sweet, and melancholy love song to his lost beloved and to the wild places of America. As in the best nature writing, the human experience becomes infinitesimally small and yet paramount, the “mythical shining through the mundane.” Full review from Publishers Weekly here.

Kirkus Reviews calls it “A sprawling, lovely, nourishing tonic for all those who dip into it.” Full review from Kirkus here.

Big Sky Journal says The Carry Home is “a celebration of the healing power of wilderness.”  Full review from Big Sky Journal here.

The LA Times raves, “The Carry Home: Lessons From the American Wilderness, is a big-hearted, soul-searching memoir about grief and ritual and identity.” Full review from LA Times here.

Canoe & Kayak describes The Carry Home as, “Ferguson’s haunting, deeply personal account of tragedy, grief and recovery.” Full review from Canoe & Kayak here.