win prizes
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Porcher's Creek Lives Between the Tides by John Leland

Porcher's Creek Lives Between the Tides


Porcher's Creek Lives Between the Tides by John Leland

A thanksgiving and lament for life on the South Carolina coast; Columbus knew no greater thrill than I, a ten-year-old discovering new creeks and branches and islands and mainland hideaways...I resolved to make my living as an explorer and said so in school when we were all asked what we planned to do upon our growing up. John Leland lived a Huckleberry Finn sort of boyhood that most children would envy. A fifth-generation lowcountry native, he grew up fishing, swimming, and hunting arrowheads on a tidal creek just north of Charleston, South Carolina. With admirable freedom, he poled his bateau through the maze of oyster banks and the tangle of salt waterways known as Porcher's Creek. He spent years learning where the conchs congregated, where the clams kept secret rendezvous, and which hole hid the sweetest crabs. He became a naturalist by studying heron, frogs, and porpoises. Leland's existence was so interwined with Porcher's Creek that he lived, slept, and ate by its tides and seasons - until exiled by family misfortune and suburban encroachment. Leland combines nature writing and reminiscence with a heartfelt examination of change along the South Carolina coast. He celebrates Porcher's Creek as a watery refuge that links him to his childhood and ancestry, weaving together his family's story with that of the creek. He chronicles both the geographic dispersal of his family and the abandonment of traditional lowcountry ways of life. Leland takes his readers back to a time not so long ago, before golf courses, concrete, and speedboats transformed Porcher's Creek. With eloquence and humor, he dissects the life histories of its creatures - fiddler crabs, alligators, marsh hens, and more - and threads through the narrative of his own life history. On the surface a nature-lover's elegy, Porcher's Creek is in fact Leland's treatise on mankind's ambiguous place in the natural world.

About the Author

John Leland grew up outside Charleston, South Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he teaches English at the Virginia Military Institute. Leland lives with his wife and children in Rockbridge Baths, Virginia.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

31st May 2002


John Leland

More books by John Leland
Author 'Like for Like'


University of South Carolina Press


114 pages


The countryside, country life
Autobiography: historical, political & military
Travel writing



Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch

The selections are so varied and the reader reviews are so helpful. A fantastic website for those who love books.

Ann Quintilla

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey