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The Telling Distance

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This collection of 50 essays, winner of the 1990 Western States Book Award, tells of the people, mythsand legends of the American Southwest. An Edward Abbe y with the heart of a poet, Bruce Berger teaches armchair environmentalists and hard-core outdoorsmen alike to tread lightly in the wilderness, with new respect for the odd charm and immense fragility of the planet. "Mr. Berger brings the desert to life". --TheNew York Times Book Review. Line drawings.
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About the Author

Bruce Berger is also the author of There Was a River and Almost an Island. In addition to writing, he has also played the piano professionally both in this country and in Spain.


Many of these essays have appeared in various publications, not all of them nature-oriented, and are thus quite diverse. The introduction, even if one accepts the description of deserts as emptiness, is too obscure to tempt the reader. The essays themselves, however, combine to form an eccentric volume of philosophical musings and observations about the desert, camping, and living. The overall effect leaves one rather bemused and wondering what it was all about. Given that the manuscript for this book won the 1990 Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, however, there may be some demand for it.-- Katharine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.

"A contemplation of the beautiful and the belching, snorting, seething desert that sprawls across the American Southwest." --Los Angeles Times "Berger shares a significant kinship with those early romantic individuals who, in looking into nature, found a greater sense of self and soul. . . . Here is the work not so much of a desert rat as a desert connoisseur." --Bloomsbury Review "Berger takes his place with Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez." --Denver Post "This volume belongs on the shelf with all great desert literature. Berger updates the traditional chronicle of the desert by admiring its vastness and mysteries while being acutely aware of its vulnerability. . . . Berger's prose is perfectly adapted to his thoughts as cacti are to the desert--readers will find quotables on every page." --Booklist

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