On Our Shelves Now
In this collection of twelve stories, Barry Lopez—the National Book Award–winning author of Arctic Dreams and one of our most admired writers—evokes the longing we feel for beauty in our relationships with one another, with the past, and with nature.
An anthropologist traveling with an aboriginal people finds that, because of his aggressive desire to understand them, they remain always disturbingly unknowable. A successful financial consultant, failing to discover his roots in Africa, jogs from Connecticut to the Pacific Ocean in order to forge an indigenous connection to the American landscape. A paleontologist is haunted by visions of wildlife in a vacant lot in Manhattan. In simple, crystalline prose, Lopez evokes a sense of the magic and marvelous strangeness of the world, and a deep compassion for the human predicament.
About the Author
Barry Lopez is the author of three collections of essays, including Horizon; several story collections; Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist; and Crow and Weasel, a novella-length fable. He contributed regularly to both American and foreign journals and traveled to more than seventy countries to conduct research. He was the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundations and was honored by a number of institutions for his literary, humanitarian, and environmental work. He died in 2020.
“Haunting . . . superb . . . exquisitely wrought . . . . Lopez is indeed a writer of many dimensions.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Haunting . . . mysterious. . . . These spare narrations carry surprising weight. . . . Lopez leaves all the right things unsaid, and the silence resonates.” —Time
“The purity and power of Mr. Lopez’s imagery combine to give the reader a sure, steady footing.” —The New York Times Review of Books
“Enchanting . . . challenging . . . rewarding . . . a rich, subtly moving collection. . . . [Lopez’s] sublime stories limn the soul of nature and the soul of humanity with equal skill, conviction and reverence.” —The Plain Dealer
“Each of the dozen stories . . . surrounds and encloses elements transformed, like a geode. Protected inside are fables of grace and faith, like lovely quartz crystals or beautiful bands of agate.” —The Boston Globe
“Lopez succeeds in awakening our fleeting yearning and hidden feelings.” –The Denver Post
“Lopez has such great narrative skill and uses his words so carefully the simple intensity is often nearly overwhelming.” –The Oregonian
“[Lopez’s] stories’ fierce beauty lingers in the mind’s eye like a foreign sunset.” –The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Lopez displays his skill for description in writing that’s precise, gorgeous, [and] arresting.” –Rocky Mountain News