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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
, 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.