Short, sweet, and bitingly funny, this collection--originally recorded as audio essays for NPR--will have you raring get outside and enjoy the spring weather! This is some of the best work I've read about the red rock deserts of Utah (my home country!), besieged by oil & mineral leases and left with diminished protections under the current Department of Interior. It might inspire a trip to Bears Ears or Canyonlands as well. ;)
— From Seasons: Desert Sketches
"Sharp as the needles on a pinyon pine, these essays will make you rethink your view of the American West. Meloy's wise and unexpected observations are a pure delight."
--MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
The late writer and naturalist Ellen Meloy wrote and recorded a series of audio essays for KUER, NPR Utah in the 1990s. Every few months, she would travel to their Salt Lake City studios from her red rock home of Bluff to read an essay or two. With understated humor and sharp insight, Meloy would illuminate facets of human connection to nature and challenge listeners to examine the world anew. Seasons: Desert Sketches
is a compilation of these essays, transcribed from their original cassette tape recordings. Whether Meloy is pondering geese in Desolation Canyon or people at the local post office, readers will delight in her signature wit and charm--and feel the pull of the desert she loves and defends. With a foreword by Annie Proulx. ELLEN MELOY
was a native of the West and lived in California, Montana, and Utah. Her book The Anthropology of Turquoise
(2002) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Utah Book Award and the Banff Mountain Book Festival Award in the adventure and travel category. She is also the author of Raven's Exile: A Season on the Green River
(1994), The Last Cheater's Waltz: Beauty and Violence in the Desert Southwest
(2001), and Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild
(2005). Meloy spent most of her life in wild, remote places; at the time of her sudden death in November 2004 (three months after completing Eating Stone
), she and her husband were living in southern Utah.