Earning its author a third nomination for the Nobel Prize, this tale centers on a crane colony arriving at its breeding ground to play out a delicate drama, ending with the rarely observed ceremony of the ritual dance. All is observed by a transfixed child who has frozen into his background and become a piece of nature himself. With a kind of cinematic impressionism, this novel voyages back to episodes from childhood, adolescence, and maturity as well as conducts speculative forays into the unknown. Unfolding in a series of delicate sketches that record the changing moods of human experience, this story is at once pervaded by a sense of melancholy and a sensuous appreciation of nature. A profound and beautiful book, it is the summation of a literary artist's first-hand experience and observation of rural lifeof landscape and people.