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Sports & Recreation Hunting

A Hunter's Confession

by (author) David Carpenter

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Mar 2010
Hunting, Personal Memoirs
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2010
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2011
    List Price

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Out of print

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A Hunter's Confession tells the story of hunting-both its history and the role it has played in David Carpenter's own life, including the reasons he once loved it and the dramatic hunting incident that made him give up hunting for good.

Winding through this narrative is Carpenter's exploration of the history of hunting, subsistence hunting versus hunting for sport, trophy hunting, and the meaning of the hunt for those who have written about it most eloquently. Are wild creatures somehow our property? How is the sport hunter different from the hunter who must kill game to survive? Is there some bridge that might connect Aboriginal to non-Aboriginal hunters? Carpenter ponders questions like these as he describes what hunting has meant to him and to others throughout history and in our own time.

Carpenter beautifully evokes the sensual pleasure of holding a gun, the inherent spirituality among hunters, the intense relationship between the animals and their pursuers, and the transcendent joy of hunting. Finally, he conveys poignantly how for him animals have been transformed from objects of hunting to objects of wonder. Also available in paperback.

About the author

David Carpenter spent his first twenty-three years in Edmonton, working during the summers as a car hop, a driver for Brewster Rocky Mountain Grayline, a fish stocker, a trail guide, and a folksinger. He read French and German at the University of Alberta to indifferent effect. He graduated and taught high school in Edmonton until 1965, then migrated south to do an M.A. in English at the University of Oregon. He returned to Canada in 1967 and once again taught school until the summer of 1969, when he enrolled for his Ph. D. at the University of Alberta.

Between 1985 and 1988 Carpenter published a series of novellas and long stories -- Jokes for the Apocalypse, Jewels and God's Bedfellows. Jokes for the Apocalypse was runner up for the Gerald Lampert Award, and his novella The Ketzer won first prize in the Descant Novella Contest.

In 1997 Carpenter turned to writing full-time. A first novel, Banjo Lessons was published in 1997 and won the City of Edmonton Book Prize. During the early nineties he also finished the last of his personal and literary essays which make up Writing Home, his first collection of nonfiction. The essays explore his engagements with such writers as Richard Ford, the French writer/scientist Georges Bugnet, and the late Raymond Carver. Several of these pieces won prizes for literary journalism and for humour in the Western Magazine Awards. One of these essays was featured on CBC Radio's `Ideas`. He brought out a second book of essays about life around home, a month-by-month salute to the seasons entitled Courting Saskatchewan. It won the Saskatchewan Book Award for nonfiction.

Throughout the years he has always been a passionate outdoorsman and environmentalist. This abiding love of lakes, trails, streams and campsites translates into city life in Saskatoon as well, where he lives with his wife, artist Honor Kever, and their son Will.

David Carpenter's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The two greatest things about Carpenter's sterling hunting memoir is how well-informed and precise it is—positively erudite; but never show-offish or exclusive. The second involves how much this knowing-ness is the natural tropism of the author's great and generous heart, his love for all creature—including the human one. —Richard Ford

David Carpenter's narrative is told with comic gusto, his own youth recalled in a sort of boys-own dramatic fashion. —Globe & Mail

Carpenterís book, A Hunterís Confession, is not a tightly reasoned apologia fashioned by a latter-day St. Augustine or St. Francis. He has chosen, rather, to mount an impressionistic carousel of anecdotes and observations that briefly touches upon his early hunting, his experiences with his companions, the history and prehistory of hunting, and the relative morality of subsistence hunting versus hunting for sport. —Literary Review of Canada

David Carpenter has a message for those who donít like hunting: itís more than just horn porn . . . His experiences [hunting] were a springboard for his new memoir, A Hunterís Confession, in which he explores the history of human hunting, its effects on our culture and its portrayal in literature, and how it shapes our relationship with the natural world. —Prairie Books Now

You can't read this book without feeling Carpenter's deep respect and reverence for the 'forest primeval,' and all the creatures in it. —Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Hunter writes expressively of the joys of the hunt: the hunter's heightened awareness of everything around him; the atavistic tension as hunter and quarry get closer; the humour, and occasional danger, when things go awry; the meals and stories shared with one's companions at the end of the day. —Montreal Gazette

The Hunter's Confession . . . is memoir, clustered around outdoor adventure, linked like fish hooked on a chronological dragline, and retold in the light of a life-changing personal crisis. —Prairie Fire Review of Books

David Carpenter's anecdotes, analysis of other writing on the subject, and personal soul-searching make for a lucid, provocative and often humorous exploration of an activity that has been both castigated and cherished over the years. —Winnipeg Free Press

Other titles by David Carpenter