Recently escaped from an abusive marriage, her children abducted by their father, Hannah Nyala turns for physical and spiritual survival to self-taught tracking in the Mojave Desert and eventually joins a National Park Service search-and-rescue team. But overshadowing Nyala’s experience as an increasingly capable tracker is the fact that she herself is a tracked woman. For her, the ability to see a “footprint in soft grass outside a bedroom window” becomes a matter of survival. Nyala recounts life-and-death rescue missions yet questions the “action-junkie” approach to tracking lost people. Her exploration of the mechanics and cultural meanings of tracking recalls her rural Mississippi childhood…and eventually leads to a journey to the Kalahari to learn from the famed Ju/Wasi and !Kung Bushmen trackers. Finally, Nyala’s passionate immersion in the art and science of tracking leads to the first safe place Nyala and her children have known. Point Last Seen is a wholly original account of one woman’s life and an intriguing glimpse at the meaning and power of following footprints.
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