Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land

3.7 avg rating
( 205 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780865477452: Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

"Trespass might as well be Desert Solitaire's literary heir . . . It's hard to imagine a personal history more transporting that this one."―Judith Lewis, Los Angels Times Book Review

Trespass is the story of one woman's struggle to gain footing in inhospitable territory. A wilderness activist and apostate Mormon, Amy Irvine sought respite in the desert outback of southern Utah's red-rock country after her father's suicide, only to find out just how much of an interloper she was among her own people. But more than simply an exploration of personal loss, Trespass is an elegy for a dying world, for the ruin of one of our most beloved and unique desert landscapes and for our vanishing connection to it. Fearing what her father's fate might somehow portend for her, Irvine retreated into the remote recesses of the Colorado Plateau―home not only to the world's most renowned national parks but also to a rugged brand of cowboy Mormonism that stands in defiant contrast to the world at large. Her story is one of ruin and restoration, of learning to live among people who fear the wilderness the way they fear the devil and how that fear fuels an antagonism toward environmental concerns that pervades the region. At the same time, Irvine mourns her own loss of wildness and disconnection from spirituality, while ultimately discovering that the provinces of nature and faith are not as distinct as she once might have believed.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Formerly a nationally ranked competitive rock climber, Amy Irvine was for five years the development director at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue
My home is a red desert that trembles with spirits and bones.         There are two reasons I came here: my father’s death, and the lion man who prowled my dreams. Perhaps it was coincidence, but a man—half wild, ravenous beyond words—slid from the dream world into the mud of the waking one the same year my father left this world for another.
Ghosts. Paw prints. I have tried to stay put.
The lion man is Herb. His name, his grandfather’s. It doesn’t quite suit him, but then, nothing about the civilized world does. Even my mother, who prefers all things tame, cannot accept it. Instead, she calls him Red for his long copper curls, for the heart pulsing on his sleeve. His eyes are a piercing topaz. And he purrs of dimensions other than this one—says he sees and hears things differently and that’s why he makes up his own rules. Me, I am at a loss for words. After contending daily with the lion man’s incorrigible ways, I still don’t know what to call him.
If Herb is red, then my father was blue. Perpetually immersed in water and nostalgia, to the point of inertia, he passed the days hunting—mostly in cattails on the edge of the Great Salt Lake, just outside Salt Lake City. There he sat motionless, as if he could halt time. It was his attempt to deny the seductive sirens of civility—their incessant beckonings to behave, to belong. He acted as if all that mattered was the water, and the sound of wings flapping overhead. He was a good shot.
But he lost his fluidity. The lake swelled, then retreated. Constrained by convention, dulled by bourbon, his primal reflexes failed. When the banks of soft marsh mud imploded beneath his feet, he simply could not respond. Finally, on the first night of the new millennium, as the rest of the world toasted a new era, my father put a bullet through his own heart.
the redrock desert where I made my home sits on a tall, arid land mass called the Colorado Plateau. This physiographic province sprawls across northern New Mexico and Arizona, western Colorado, and nearly all of the southern half of Utah—my home state. Perhaps the most isolated portion of the Plateau falls within the boundaries of San Juan County, in Utah’s southeastern corner. After my thirty-four years in Salt Lake City—the state’s urban capital, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, in the northern region of the state—this remote and rural portion of the desert was a welcome change.
San Juan County is the size of three small New England states. And of its 7,884 square miles, only 8 percent of the land is owned privately. The rest is either Indian or federal land—managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the Forest Service. Included within these federal jurisdictions are Canyonlands National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments. Also included are two million acres of BLM lands with hardly any special designations—loosely managed for “multiple use,” which means they can be utilized for grazing, mining, logging, and nearly any form of recreation.
So scenic are these lands that if any of them—any at all—could be acquired, they would be considered prime real estate. But San Juan County, by and large, is not for sale. The result: Less than two people per square mile. Not one shopping mall or gated community. Only two stoplights and a single liquor store.
But there are eleven Mormon churches—three of them built right on Indian lands.
In the late autumn of our first year in San Juan County, Herb and I hiked into a deep canyon on Cedar Mesa—the connective tissue between the Abajo Mountains and the San Juan River. It was a cold and gray afternoon; the cottonwood trees in the canyon bottom had lost their gold medallions and stood wretched. The birds were gone. Everything was stripped, utterly silent. We tiptoed across stones made sleek and spherical by flash floods. Herb stopped and looked up at an ancient Indian ruin, high on the ledge above us. Perhaps a thousand years old, its earthen walls still stood. The two windows were dark and hollow, like the eyes of an unlit jack-o’-lantern.
The lion man turned to me, his eyes dilated in the fading light. He said, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone.
I disagreed. The ghosts were everywhere, watching. And even their company would prove to be too much.
Soon afterward, Herb and I bought a cabin on ten acres. There were no phone lines, no power lines, no pipes to deliver water or gas. With no service to collect what we discarded, we were careful about what we used in the first place. And with scarcely an aquifer of groundwater in the bedrock beneath shallow soils, there was little point in drilling a well. Instead, we hauled water from town in an old pickup and stored it in a cistern.
In winter, the snow would come suddenly and pick dogfights with the sky. The wind would scream like a woman assaulted. On winter mornings, Herb and I wrestled beneath the covers, to see who must leave our bed to light the stove and scrape ice from the solar panels that stood in the yard like a broken-off piece of spaceship. Summers were just as trying. Mornings would heat up like a struck match, and by noon the sky was bruised with thunderheads. When we moved in, I had laughed at the three lightning rods on the tar-paper roof—now I know they weren’t the least bit excessive. The rain comes and goes so fast, often it does no good. In this redrock desert, only one thing is constant: Evaporation duels saturation—a lesson on how easily matter can vaporize.
The cabin sat on the rim of a canyon, halfway between the towns of Blanding and Monticello. From the kitchen table was a stunning view—thousands of acres of scarcely interrupted public land and Indian land, yawning south for over one hundred miles. In the middle of the view lies the Four Corners, where the Colorado Plateau states converge with rectilinear perfection. This ninety-degree meeting of state lines is arbitrary, and invisible to the eye. But each day, as the light shifted across the sky, I detected new canyons, new mesas. The bones of the earth illuminated.
It was my father’s mother, Ada, who first brought me to this desert, who taught me what to look for. I was six years old when I first sat in red sand, leaning over her shoulder to watch as she painted land and sky. She loved the capricious geography—how it rose and fell like the spikes and troughs on an erratic cardiogram. She pointed out the sagebrush plain that suddenly plunged one thousand feet into a canyon of bare pink stone, glistening with seeps and springs; the roiling river beneath a ragged, bloody spine of a steeply rising anticline; the expletive of a sandstone minaret, erupting from the desert floor like a bold stroke of red ink.
An artist of abstractions, Ada sometimes made the rock look like water. She taught me all that she learned from this place—to look past the obvious, to see what might emerge at the edges.
There is only wind, water, and stone, Amy. Because of them, the desert is constantly undone.
She understood erosion. How the fierce winds—Arctic air in winter, gulf streams in summer—could scour away the soil until there was only bedrock. How the Dirty Devil, the Colorado, and the San Juan rivers—opaque ribbons of chocolate and jade—could gnaw at the sandy banks, granule by granule, until there was nothing left to stand on. How even the smallest seismic shift beneath the earth’s crust could calve pinnacles from canyon walls, or unearth the remnants of ancient peoples.
Early on, I remember sitting on a sandy beach at Lake Powell, in Glen Canyon Recreation Area. On a pad of paper, my grandmother sketched the cliffs that rose from the depths of the water. They were the color of raw salmon flesh. Sunlight leaped from the water and bedazzled the walls. Suddenly she dropped her pastel crayon, held her hands up against the sun. The rays burned through the pale webs of skin between her fingers.
And color. It shifts. Light changes everything.
She marveled at how, in one hour, a single rock formation could run the gauntlet of reds, oranges, even purples. Each shade was so exquisite, she said, that it defied description—or any other kind of human attempt at acquisition. This may have frustrated another observer, but in my grandmother’s mind, that intangible, luminous fluidity was the key to liberation. An atheist, an aesthete, she never tried to reinvent. Instead, she unleashed her self on the canvas. In doing so, she managed to interpret the desert’s sensuality, particle by particle. Back in Salt Lake, she presented her work in galleries. From desert to city. She glided effortlessly between two contradictory worlds, translating the liquid language of landscape—a place others have called barren and harsh.
Moving to southern Utah, I imagined myself as Ada. A visionary who could see, interpret, the desert’s nuances. A woman free to go anywhere the senses led. A woman who could sustain herself on beauty alone.
The desert’s people seemed only a minor obstacle. Mostly cowboy, mostly Mormon, they have their own way of seeing things. But I am used to this: My mother’s side of the family possesses the same peculiar brand of faith—a rawhide religion unlike anything you see in places more verdant, more populated. On public lands, in the high desert of southern Idaho—in a place not at all unlike San Juan County—they too run cattle and submit themselves not so much to the government as to God. I have spent my life among them, loving them. It made me believe my ...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780865477032: Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0865477035 ISBN 13:  9780865477032
Publisher: North Point Press, 2008
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Irvine, Amy
Published by North Point Press
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description North Point Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0865477450 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.88. Seller Inventory # OTF-S-9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.01
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Irvine, Amy
Published by North Point Press 3/31/2009 (2009)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description North Point Press 3/31/2009, 2009. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.15
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Irvine, Amy
Published by North Point Press (2018)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback Quantity Available: 17
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description North Point Press, 2018. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # 0865477450

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.84
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Irvine, Amy
Published by NORTH POINT PR (2009)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description NORTH POINT PR, 2009. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.21
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Amy Irvine
Published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "Trespass might as well be Desert Solitaire's literary heir . . . It's hard to imagine a personal history more transporting that this one."--Judith Lewis, Los Angels Times Book Review Trespass is the story of one woman's struggle to gain footing in inhospitable territory. A wilderness activist and apostate Mormon, Amy Irvine sought respite in the desert outback of southern Utah's red-rock country after her father's suicide, only to find out just how much of an interloper she was among her own people. But more than simply an exploration of personal loss, Trespass is an elegy for a dying world, for the ruin of one of our most beloved and unique desert landscapes and for our vanishing connection to it. Fearing what her father's fate might somehow portend for her, Irvine retreated into the remote recesses of the Colorado Plateau--home not only to the world's most renowned national parks but also to a rugged brand of cowboy Mormonism that stands in defiant contrast to the world at large. Her story is one of ruin and restoration, of learning to live among people who fear the wilderness the way they fear the devil and how that fear fuels an antagonism toward environmental concerns that pervades the region. At the same time, Irvine mourns her own loss of wildness and disconnection from spirituality, while ultimately discovering that the provinces of nature and faith are not as distinct as she once might have believed. Seller Inventory # APC9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 21.36
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Amy Irvine
Published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "Trespass might as well be Desert Solitaire's literary heir . . . It's hard to imagine a personal history more transporting that this one."--Judith Lewis, Los Angels Times Book Review Trespass is the story of one woman's struggle to gain footing in inhospitable territory. A wilderness activist and apostate Mormon, Amy Irvine sought respite in the desert outback of southern Utah's red-rock country after her father's suicide, only to find out just how much of an interloper she was among her own people. But more than simply an exploration of personal loss, Trespass is an elegy for a dying world, for the ruin of one of our most beloved and unique desert landscapes and for our vanishing connection to it. Fearing what her father's fate might somehow portend for her, Irvine retreated into the remote recesses of the Colorado Plateau--home not only to the world's most renowned national parks but also to a rugged brand of cowboy Mormonism that stands in defiant contrast to the world at large. Her story is one of ruin and restoration, of learning to live among people who fear the wilderness the way they fear the devil and how that fear fuels an antagonism toward environmental concerns that pervades the region. At the same time, Irvine mourns her own loss of wildness and disconnection from spirituality, while ultimately discovering that the provinces of nature and faith are not as distinct as she once might have believed. Seller Inventory # BZE9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 21.84
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Amy Irvine
Published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "Trespass might as well be Desert Solitaire's literary heir . . . It's hard to imagine a personal history more transporting that this one."--Judith Lewis, Los Angels Times Book Review Trespass is the story of one woman's struggle to gain footing in inhospitable territory. A wilderness activist and apostate Mormon, Amy Irvine sought respite in the desert outback of southern Utah's red-rock country after her father's suicide, only to find out just how much of an interloper she was among her own people. But more than simply an exploration of personal loss, Trespass is an elegy for a dying world, for the ruin of one of our most beloved and unique desert landscapes and for our vanishing connection to it. Fearing what her father's fate might somehow portend for her, Irvine retreated into the remote recesses of the Colorado Plateau--home not only to the world's most renowned national parks but also to a rugged brand of cowboy Mormonism that stands in defiant contrast to the world at large. Her story is one of ruin and restoration, of learning to live among people who fear the wilderness the way they fear the devil and how that fear fuels an antagonism toward environmental concerns that pervades the region. At the same time, Irvine mourns her own loss of wildness and disconnection from spirituality, while ultimately discovering that the provinces of nature and faith are not as distinct as she once might have believed. Seller Inventory # APC9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 21.93
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Amy Irvine
Published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl. Paperback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.54
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.09
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Irvine, Amy
Published by NORTH POINT PR (2009)
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description NORTH POINT PR, 2009. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.62
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.79
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Amy Irvine
Published by North Point Press
ISBN 10: 0865477450 ISBN 13: 9780865477452
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description North Point Press. Paperback. Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. 384 pages. Trespass might as well be Desert Solitaires literary heir . . . Its hard to imagine a personal history more transporting that this one. Judith Lewis, Los Angels Times Book Review Trespass is the story of one womans struggle to gain footing in inhospitable territory. A wilderness activist and apostate Mormon, Amy Irvine sought respite in the desert outback of southern Utahs red-rock country after her fathers suicide, only to find out just how much of an interloper she was among her own people. But more than simply an exploration of personal loss, Trespass is an elegy for a dying world, for the ruin of one of our most beloved and unique desert landscapes and for our vanishing connection to it. Fearing what her fathers fate might somehow portend for her, Irvine retreated into the remote recesses of the Colorado Plateauhome not only to the worlds most renowned national parks but also to a rugged brand of cowboy Mormonism that stands in defiant contrast to the world at large. Her story is one of ruin and restoration, of learning to live among people who fear the wilderness the way they fear the devil and how that fear fuels an antagonism toward environmental concerns that pervades the region. At the same time, Irvine mourns her own loss of wildness and disconnection from spirituality, while ultimately discovering that the provinces of nature and faith are not as distinct as she once might have believed. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780865477452

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 27.55
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book