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Solace and Perspective
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November 13, 2017

In a break from covering the news, our annual Books & Authors special issue offers perspective by taking a look at the complicated West through a different lens: literature. Essays, excerpts, author profiles, Q&As and book reviews tackle grief, oddities and hard questions.

Feature

A man and his house of relics, in search of a self
A man and his house of relics, in search of a self
What is the right way to treat artifacts that do not belong to you?

Current

Fee hike; 6 bills that erode the ESA; Water news matters
Fee hike; 6 bills that erode the ESA; Water news matters
HCN.org news in brief.
The border as a ‘weaponized’ landscape
The border as a ‘weaponized’ landscape
Border Patrol agent-turned-author Francisco Cantú examines his experiences.
A map of language charted by Navajo philosophy
A map of language charted by Navajo philosophy
Esther Belin is trying to shape a uniquely Navajo way of writing.
The Kumeyaay poet who’s disrupting nature poetry
The Kumeyaay poet who’s disrupting nature poetry
Tommy Pico merges natural and personal history of the arid West from Brooklyn, New York.
In line at the Great Wall
In line at the Great Wall
In no-longer-so-imaginary future, parents and children are separated at the border.

Editor's Note

Solace and perspective in writings about the West
Solace and perspective in writings about the West
Western authors offer different lenses through which to understand our region.

Essays

What are we fighting for?
What are we fighting for?
Bell Prize winner: Through the trials of life, a young writer finds she’s fighting for our spirit.
‘Helpless and culpable’ while fishing the pink’s peak run
‘Helpless and culpable’ while fishing the pink’s peak run
2017 Bell Prize runner-up: A writer reflects on salmon as symbol.
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
What’s the meaning of lugging literature into the wild?
What to do if you had just one day left to live
What to do if you had just one day left to live
Two writers contemplate their last moments.

Perspective

Five authors on the joys of reading in the wild
Five authors on the joys of reading in the wild
Western writers contemplate roaming texts and landscapes.

Conversation

Exploring rural California’s contradictions
Exploring rural California’s contradictions
Gabriel Tallent’s debut novel tells the story of a tough teenage girl’s survival.
The West, when women are telling the story
The West, when women are telling the story
Do women write differently about wilderness?

Book Reviews

Watercolor habitats: An observation of light and color
Watercolor habitats: An observation of light and color
An artist portrays the greens of mountain lakes and oranges of sandstone arches.
New books to read this fall
New books to read this fall
A sampling of the season’s best new reads.
Indie presses in the West
Indie presses in the West
A selection of small publishers from around the region.
A nearly forgotten poet’s view from above timberline
A nearly forgotten poet’s view from above timberline
Belle Turnbull found transcendence in the Colorado Rockies.
How to know what we don’t know about natural disasters
How to know what we don’t know about natural disasters
A new book foretells America’s next devastating earthquake.
A fictional Gilead in the Northwest
A fictional Gilead in the Northwest
Two authors imagine societies with draconian policies against women.
How much do salmon still shape the Northwest?
How much do salmon still shape the Northwest?
A new book seeks answers about the future of the iconic fish.

Heard Around the West

Deer at recess; Stranded in Kanab; A brain-eating mantis
Deer at recess; Stranded in Kanab; A brain-eating mantis
Mishaps and mayhem around the region.

Dear Friends

Seasons change and a reader remembered
Seasons change and a reader remembered
Visits from family, new visitors and saying farewell to old friends.
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