The Solace of Open Spaces

Gretel Ehrlich

Published by Viking Adult, 1985
ISBN 10: 0670806781 / ISBN 13: 9780670806782
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Synopsis: "Essayists who write like poets are a rare and treasured breed, and when their writings are recorded on audio cassette tapes, the effect is almost symphonic."--San Francisco Chronicle. 2 cassettes.

Review: "Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful, timid and dangerous, lucid and muddied, eddying, gleaming, still." Whether she's reflecting on nature's teachings, divulging her experiences as a cowpuncher, or painting vivid word portraits of the people she lives and works with, Gretel Ehrlich's observations are lyrical and funny, wise and authentic. After moving from the city to a vast new state, she writes of adjusting to cowboy life, boundless open spaces, and the almost incomprehensible harshness of a Wyoming winter:

"When it's fifty below, the mercury bottoms out and jiggles there as if laughing at those of us still above ground. Once I caught myself on tiptoes, peering down into the thermometer as if there were an extension inside inscribed with higher and higher declarations of physical misery: ninety below to the power of ten and so on."

After experiencing the isolated life of a sheep herder, she writes, "Keenly observed the world is transformed. The landscape is engorged with detail, every movement on it chillingly sharp. The air between people is charged. Days unfold, bathed in their own music. Nights become hallucinatory; dreams, prescient."

Ehrlich's gift is one of subtle precision. She writes beauty into the plainest of thoughts and meaning into the simplest of ideas: "True solace is finding none, which is to say, it is everywhere." --Kathryn True

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Title: The Solace of Open Spaces
Publisher: Viking Adult
Publication Date: 1985
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Ehrlich, Gretel
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