Genre: Biography & Autobiography
This memoir of life in the American desert by the author of The Monkey Wrench Gang is a nature writing classic on par with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey recounts his many escapades, adventures, and epiphanies as an Arches National Park ranger outside Moab, Utah. Brimming with arresting insights, impassioned arguments for wilderness conservation, and a raconteur’s wit, it is one of Abbey’s most critically acclaimed works. Through stories and philosophical musings, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness, the future of a civilization, and his own internal struggle with morality. As the world continues its rapid development, Abbey’s cry to maintain the natural beauty of the West remains just as relevant today as when this book first appeared in 1968.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a passionately felt, deeply poetic book,” the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness. Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man’s stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey’s reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau’s Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life’s mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.
"A grief–stricken, heart–hopeful, soul song to the American Desert." —PAM HOUSTON, author of Deep Creek As Ed Abbey’s Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness turns fifty, its iconic author, who has inspired generations of rebel–rousing advocacy on behalf of the American West, is due for a tribute as well as a talking to. In Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, Amy Irvine admires the man who influenced her life and work while challenging all that is dated—offensive, even—between the covers of Abbey's environmental classic. Irvine names and questions the "lone male" narrative—white and privileged as it is—that still has its boots planted firmly at the center of today's wilderness movement, even as she celebrates the lens through which Abbey taught so many to love the wild remains of the nation. From Abbey’s quiet notion of solitude to Irvine’s roaring cabal, the desert just got hotter, and its defenders more nuanced and numerous. AMY IRVINE is a sixth–generation Utahn and longtime public lands activist. Her work has been published in Orion, Pacific Standard, High Desert Journal, Climbing, Triquarterly, and other publications. Her memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and Colorado Book Award. Her essay "Spectral Light," which appeared in Orion and The Best American Science and Nature Writing, was a finalist for the Pen Award in Journalism, and her recent essay, “Conflagrations: Motherhood, Madness and a Planet on Fire” appeared among the 2017 Best American Essays' list of Notables. Irvine teaches in the Mountainview Low–Residency MFA Program of Southern New Hampshire University—in the White Mountains of New England. She lives and writes off the grid in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.
This book is different from any other Edward Abbey book. It includes essays, travel pieces and fictions to reveal Ed's life directly, in his own words. The selections gathered here are arranged chronologically by incident, not by date of publication, to offer Edward Abbey's life from the time he was the boy called Ned in Home, Pennsylvania, until his death in Tucson at age 62. A short note introduces each of the four parts of the book and attempts to identify what's happening in the author's life at the time. When relevant, some details of publishing history are provided.
A motley crew of saboteurs wreak outrageous havoc on the corporations destroying America’s Western wilderness in this classic, comic extravaganza. When George Washington Hayduke III returns home from war in the jungles of Southeast Asia, he finds the unspoiled West he once knew has been transformed. The pristine lands and waterways are being strip mined, dammed up, and paved over by greedy government hacks and their corrupt corporate coconspirators. And the manic, beer-guzzling, rabidly antisocial ex-Green Beret isn’t just getting mad. Hayduke plans to get even. Together with a radical feminist from the Bronx; a wealthy, billboard-torching libertarian MD; and a disgraced Mormon polygamist, Hayduke’s ready to stick it to the Man in the most creative ways imaginable. By the time they’re done, there won’t be a bridge left standing, a dam unblown, or a bulldozer unmolested from Arizona to Utah. Edward Abbey’s most popular novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang is an outrageous romp with ultra-serious undertones that is as relevant today as it was in the early days of the environmental movement. The author who Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) once dubbed “The Thoreau of the American West” has written a true comedic classic with brains, heart, and soul that more than justifies the call from the Los Angeles Times Book Review that we should all “praise the earth for Edward Abbey!”
Abbey's explorations include the familiar territory of the Rio Grande in Texas, Canyonlands National Park, and Lake Powell in Utah. He also takes readers to such varied places as Scotland, the interior of Australia, the Sierra Madre, and Isla de la Sombra in Mexico.
A cowboy takes on the forces of twentieth century tyranny in a tale by “the Thoreau of the American West” that became the classic film Lonely Are the Brave (Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lonesome Dove). A rugged individualist and sometime ranch hand, Jack Burns has no love for the modern world. He is a man out of time, riding his horse through a Southwestern landscape corrupted by concrete, shopping centers, and superhighways. A stubborn loner, he lives by a personal moral code that often sets him at odds with contemporary society. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. When Jack’s brazen attempt to free a jailed friend fails, the “anarchist cowboy” becomes an outlaw overnight. Suddenly he and his chestnut mare are racing toward the New Mexican high country with the state police, the military, and the FBI in hot pursuit. His private war against authority has reached a dangerous new level. But if the powerful forces aligning against him think that Jack is going to go quietly, they’ve got another think coming. The Houston Chronicle called Edward Abbey “a fresh breath from the farther reaches and canyons of the diminishing frontier.” The bestselling author of The Monkey Wrench Gang delivers a stirring tribute to individualism and the vanishing American hero. Brought to the big screen in 1962 as Lonely Are the Brave—a major motion picture starring Kirk Douglas and Walter Matthau—The Brave Cowboy is a moving and thought-provoking fable of the modern American West.
In Christianity, Wilderness, and Wildlife, Susan Bratton brings to life the tradition of Christian wilderness spirituality, from Noah’s and Moses’ experiences in the Old Testament to Celtic monasteries and the Franciscan order. She traces a long history of divine encounters in biblical literature such as visions, providential protection, spiritual guidance and calls to leadership—all of which highlight the importance of nature in Christian thought. This book will command the attention of the growing audience for works at the intersection of environment and spirituality.