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North Carolina on the Map and in the News

N C L R ONLINE

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PHOTOGRAPH BY RAY COUCH, AYCOCK BROWN COLLECTION; COURTESY OF THE OUTER BANKS HISTORY CENTER, STATE ARCHIVES OF NORTH CAROLINA

SEA, SAND, AND HUMAN HANDS a review by Alton Ballance David Blevins. North Carolina’s Barrier Islands: Wonders of Sand, Sea, and Sky. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. Karen Willis Amspacher and Barbara Garrity-Blake. Living at the Water’s Edge: A Heritage Guide to the Outer Banks Byway. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017.

ALTON BALLANCE is a lifelong resident of Ocracoke, NC, and the author of Ocracokers (University of North Carolina Press, 1989). He is also a Fellow at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching. DAVID BLEVINS is a nature photographer as well as a forest ecologist. He co-authored, with Michael P. Schafale, Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State’s Natural Communities (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). KAREN WILLIS AMSPACHER is the director of the Core Sound Waterflow Museum and Heritage Center on Harkers Island. She is descended from Shackleford Banks fishermen and boat builders. BARBARA GARRITY-BLAKE is a cultural anthropologist and has long been interested in the twenty-one villages along the byway extending from the north end of Hatteras through the east region of Carteret County. She lives in Gloucester, NC.

water’s edge through the lens of his camera, providing penetrating views into “the best remaining natural areas on North Carolina’s barrier islands” (ix).

For someone visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina, especially for the first time, two books will serve as perfect guides to the human and natural worlds in this place of change and adaptation. Barbara Garrity-Blake and Karen Willis Amspacher’s Living at the Water’s Edge: A Heritage Guide to the Outer Banks Byway and David Blevins’s North Carolina’s Barrier Islands: Wonders of Sand, Sea, and Sky approach life at the water’s edge from two different angles, where the lens of experience draws into focus the vast life of sea, sand, and human hands. For Garrity-Blake and Amspacher, their lens is the road and how it “is a lifeline for people living on the edge.” They also recognize that this road connecting people to places and experiences “like the sounds it crosses and the ocean it parallels, is ever-changing” (xv). Blevins, a nature photographer and forest ecologist, sees the ABOVE “Gals with Grey Trout” surf fishing

off Hatteras Island, NC

Living at the Water’s Edge is one of University of North Carolina Press’s Southern Gateway Guides, “giving you the tools and inspiration to see the region anew” (xv). The authors lead visitors and readers along the 138 driving miles of the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway, designated in 2009 as part of the National Scenic Byways program. The reason for this program and its vision of creating “a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories and treasured places” seems fitting for the Outer Banks Byway communities and the particular lens that Barbara Garrity-Blake and Karen Willis Amspacher try to represent.1 Both are collectors of stories. GarrityBlake is a cultural anthropologist 1

Quotation from “U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Names 36 New National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads,” press release, US Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, 13 June 2002: web.

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2018  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2018  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

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