The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow: The Rediscovered Diary of Opal Whiteley

by Opal Stanley Whiteley

Other authorsBenjamin Hoff (Editor)
Hardcover, 1986




New York : Ticknor & Fields, 1986.


Long before environmental consciousness became popular, a young nature writer named Opal Whitely captured America's heart. Opal's childhood diary, published in 1902, became an immediate bestseller, one of the most talked-about books of its time. Wistful, funny, and wise, it was described by an admirer as "the revelation of the of a feminine Peter Pan of the Oregon wilderness ---- so innocent, so intimate, so haunting, that I should not know where in all literature to look for a counterpart". But the diary soon fell into disgrace. Condemning it as an adult-written hoax, skeptics stirred a scandal that drove the book into obscurity and shattered the frail spirit of its author. Discovering the diary by chance, bestselling author Benjamin Hoff set out to solve the longstanding mystery of its origin. His biography of Opal that accompanies the diary provides fascinating proof that the document is indeed authentic ---- the work of a magically gifted child, America's forgotten interpreter of nature.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member fiddlersgreen
This is a wonderful, wonderful book. I found this at Powell's one day. The cover (different than this one) caught my eye, and I bought it without reading what it was about. Opal Whiteley was a genius. Sadly, mentally ill, but she had a beautiful soul and was an inspiration to all who met her. The tragedy is that she spent the last sixty years of her life wasting away in a mental institution. Hoax or not, her diary is amazing.… (more)



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