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Towards a New World in the Yalakom Valley
This fascinating memoir recounts two years of adventure, hardship, and life lessons as a woman moves her family to the Camelsfoot Commune in BC, Canada.
The time is the early 1980s. Judith Plant and her new partner, Kip, are ready for a change. Inspired by Fred Brown, their professor at Simon Fraser University, they join a commune in a remote valley near the Yalakom River, deep in Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.
Culture Gap tells the story of Judith and Kip’s two-year sojourn. The challenges and privations, the joys and adventures of rural communal living, form the backdrop to a moving human drama. Judith’s son Willie takes to the new life, but Willie’s sisters feel the strong pull of the life they left behind. Meanwhile Fred, the inspiration for the commune, is dying of cancer.
An absorbing account of a lifestyle emblematic of a time, Culture Gap also shows a young mother's struggle to reconcile her ideals and her responsibility to those closest to her.
Judith Plant is the acting publisher of New Society Publishers and the co-editor of Healing the Wounds: the Promise of Ecofeminism and Home! A Bioregional Reader. She lived in Camelsfoot for two years in the early 1980's with her children and her partner, Kip, and now lives on Gabriola Island, BC
"Judith Plant takes us on a journey we're not likely to forget. Thanks to her candour and the bold questions she leaves us with, this journey deepens our own search for relevance in a radically changing world."
Joanna Macy, author of Widening Circles: A Memoir
Decades ago, out back of beyond, Camelsfoot, a philosophical commune aspired to "self-conscious culture making."
Imbued with her conviction that a "meaningful and caring life with others is our natural right," Judith Plant's memoir of its fleeting achievement and many uncommon good times glows with wisdom, complexity, and compassion. A noble read. - Stephanie Mills, author of Epicurean Simplicity and In Service of the Wild
The experiment of uptopia has a long track record of failure, yet its allure will forever capture our dreams of possibility. It takes great courage to plunge into its trails and tribulations. It takes even greater courage to emerge at the other end knowing you have failed, and then write - with sensitivity and openess - about the many losses...and gains. Judith Plant embodies such courage. Her work is a testament to the power of "lived experience."
Alejandro Frid, author of A world for My Daughter: an Ecologist's Search for Optimism
Judith Plant captures the spirit of a generation. Trust, good politics, community, imagination, culture creation, surprise, disappointment, death - all figure into this spark of twentieth-century history. - Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization
The passion with which some of the people tried to develop new ways of living and relating to each other filters through these pages with truth, as does the confusion in which participants were frequently mired. This is how it was. May other generations read this book with curiosity and learn from our trials, for their own evolution."
Delores Broten, editor of Watershed Sentinel
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