Lost Words For A Spruce Tree


Over at The Hairpin, Isabelle Fraser interviews Ann Wroe, obituary writer for The Economist. Wroe has written obituaries for J.D. Salinger, Aaron Swartz, and the 25-year old carp that was “England’s best-loved fish”. On Marie Smith, the last person to speak Eyak, an Alaskan language, she relates:

“She was the only person left who remembered all the different words for all the parts of a spruce tree. And nobody is ever going to see a spruce tree in that way again. I love it when there is an end of a whole tradition or culture: it is the last glimpse we are going to get first-hand of something that’s gone.”

Sarah Edwards lives in New York. You can find her virtually (at her blog, scedwards.tumblr.com or twitter, @eddy_sarah) or at the pie shop she works at in Brooklyn, where she would definitely like to serve you a piece of pie. More from this author →