This New York Times–bestselling exploration of the Arctic, a National Book Award winner, is “one of the finest books ever written about the far North” (Publishers Weekly).
 
“The nation’s premier nature writer” travels to a landscape at once barren and beautiful, perilous and alluring, austere yet teeming with vibrant life, and shot through with human history (San Francisco Chronicle). The Arctic has for centuries been a destination for the most ambitious explorers—a place of dreams, fears, and awe-inspiring spectacle. This “dazzling” account by the author of Of Wolves and Men takes readers on a breathtaking journey into the heart of one of the world’s last frontiers (The New York Times).
 
Based on Barry Lopez’s years spent traveling the Arctic regions in the company of Eskimo hunting parties and scientific expeditions alike, Arctic Dreams investigates the unique terrain of the human mind, thrown into relief against the vastness of the tundra and the frozen ocean. Eye-opening and profoundly moving, it is a magnificent appreciation of how wilderness challenges and inspires us.
 
Renowned environmentalist and author of Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey has called Arctic Dreams “a splendid book . . . by a man who is both a first-rate writer and an uncompromising defender of the wild country and its native inhabitants”—and the New Yorker hails it as a “landmark” work of travel writing. A vivid, thoughtful, and atmospheric read, it has earned multiple prizes, including the National Book Award, the Christopher Medal, the Oregon Book Award, and a nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barry Lopez including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
 
From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters--human, animal, and natural--that have shaped an extraordinary life.

Taking us nearly from pole to pole--from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth--and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as "one of our finest writers," gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.
As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys--to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe--and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern and frustration along with humanity and hope--a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America's great thinkers and most humane voices.
The acclaimed National Book Award winner gives us a collection of spellbinding new essays that, read together, form a jigsaw-puzzle portrait of an extraordinary man.

With the publication of his best-selling Of Wolves and Men, and with the astonishing originality of Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez established himself as that rare writer whose every book is an event, for both critics and his devoted readership. Now, in About This Life, he takes us on a literal and figurative journey across the terrain of autobiography, assembling essays of great wisdom and insight. Here is far-flung travel (the beauty of remote Hokkaido Island, the over-explored Galápagos, enigmatic Bonaire); a naturalist's contention (Why does our society inevitably strip political power from people with intimate knowledge of the land small-scale farmers, Native Americans, Eskimos, cowboys?); and pure adventure (a dizzying series of around-the-world journeys with air freight everything from penguins to pianos). And here, too, are seven exquisite memory pieces hauntingly lyrical yet unsentimental recollections that represent Lopez's most personal work to date, and which will be read as classics of the personal essay for years to come.

In writing about nature and people from around the world, by exploring the questions of our age, and, above all, by sharing a new openness about himself, Barry Lopez gives us a book that is at once vastly erudite yet intimate: a magically written and provocative work by a major American writer at the top of his form.


From the Hardcover edition.
The six stories in Outside show Barry Lopez’s majestic talent as a fiction writer. Lopez writes in spare prose, but his narratives resonate with an uncanny power. With a reverence for our exterior and interior landscapes, these stories offer profound insight into the relationships between humans and animals, creativity and beauty, and ultimately, life and death.

In “Desert Notes,” the narrator says, “All my life I have wanted to trick blood from a rock.” The story proceeds to instruct the visitor on how to experience the desert but continues like no ordinary field guide. At stake here is what is at the furthest edge of our grasp. “You will think you have hold of the idea when you have only the hold of its clothing.” Rattlesnakes, the shell of a beetle, a few twigs, silence--out of these spare elements Lopez conjures a realm that shimmers with an elusive but palpable presence.

“The Search for the Heron” and “Within Birds’ Hearing” present encounters with animals that are imbued with spiritual--and often inexplicable--exchanges. In solitary, almost visionary episodes, the narrators pass into permeable realms of nature, recalling a time when humans and animals spoke the same language. Lopez’s gift is to imagine a reality where humans can be so embedded in the natural world that the boundaries between inner and outer fall away.

Again and again, whether describing a Navajo rug possessing the essence of its maker, or a boy who can change places with his half-coyote dog (named Leaves), or a teacher whose presence brings into question the meaning of friendship, Lopez portrays elemental and sacred places. His prose transcends its simplicity to enter spaces of wonder and mystery.

As James Perrin Warren says in his compelling introduction, “Lopez’s narrators bear witness to extraordinary patterns and purposes . . . The storyteller is vital to the community and to a healthy landscape, but the vital relationship is also reciprocal. . . . We participate, along with Lopez, in the long history of storytelling. We become part of the atmosphere in which wisdom shows itself.”

Barry Moser’s eleven otherworldly, densely layered engravings accompany the text. Each provides a meditative experience that parallels Lopez’s complex sense of our relationship to nature. An afterword by Lopze closes this dramatically original collaboration.

Outside brings together Barry Lopez, best known for his National Book Award–winning Arctic Dreams; Barry Moser, the publisher of Pennyroyal Press, whose reputation as a book artist, printmaker, designer, and artist is legendary; and the widely published James Perrin Warren, a professor of English at Washington and Lee University, to offer an abundance of riches for readers and lovers of fine books.
In this new collection of twelve stories, one of our most admired writers evokes the longing we feel for beauty in our relationships with one another, with the past. with nature. In these stories, we find men or women -- sometimes at odds with themselves, sometimes transcendently well grounded -- who have an experience that is profound, unsettling, and oddly liberating. In "Empira's Tapestry." a gravely ill woman begins to weave a luminous cloth in which is expressed all of the fervent desire she had for her life ... In "Homecoming," a botanist has become so caught up with his academic ambitions that he forgets the names of the wildflowers in his own woods until his young daughter re-teaches him ... And in "The Entreaty of the Wiideema," an anthropologist traveling with an aboriginal people finds that, because of his aggressive desire to understand them, they remain for him always disturbingly unknowable.

These spare, haunting fictions, building cumulatively on each other, are marked by those qualities we have found in all of Barry Lopez's writing: a sense of the magic and marvelous strangeness of the world, respect for disparate ways of knowing and being, compassion for the human predicament, and a vibrant hope that comes from being alert and attentive to the complex beauties of landscape.

Field Votes is the final book of a loosely connected trilogy that includes Desert Notes (1976) and River Notes (1979) and stands with the best of Barry Lopez's remarkably varied work.


From the Hardcover edition.
From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters--human, animal, and natural--that have shaped an extraordinary life.

Taking us nearly from pole to pole--from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth--and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as "one of our finest writers," gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.
As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys--to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe--and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern and frustration along with humanity and hope--a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America's great thinkers and most humane voices.
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