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Desert Solitaire

Meaning of Life
Man Meets Nature
Arches National Park

"This is the most beautiful place on earth."

Cover Text
     Edward Abbey's account of two summers spent in southeastern Utah's canyonlands is one of the most enduring works of contemporary American nature writing. In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Desert Solitaire, the University of Arizona Press is pleased to make the book available once again in a hardcover edition, featuring a new introduction by the author, his definitive corrections to the text, and eighteen illustrations commissioned exclusively for this volume.
     "I confess to being a nature lover," admits Abbey more than thirty years after his sojourn in the wilderness. "But I did not mean to be mistaken for a nature writer. I never wanted to be anything but a writer, period." First published in 1968 to "a few brief but not hostile notices," Desert Solitaire quietly sold out of its first printing and eventually developed a loyal following in paperback

     Desert Solitaire lives on because it is a work that reflects profound love of nature and a bitter abhorrence of all that would desecrate it. "Abbey is one of our very best writers about wilderness country," observed Wallace Stegner in the Los Angeles Times Book Review; "he is also a gadfly with a stinger like a scorpion." "This book may well seem like a ride on a bucking bronco," added Edwin May Teale in the New York Times. "It is rough, tough, combative ... passionately felt, deeply poetic." But perhaps the spirit of the man, the work, and the circumstances of its writing were best summarized by Larry McMurtry in his review for the Washington Post: "Edward Abbey is the Thoreau of the American West."



Click here for Panoramic View of Arches National Park

“We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.”