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Lopez, Barry Holstun

468 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0684168170 / ISBN 13: 9780684168173
Published by Scribner, New York, 1981
From Rare Book Cellar (Pomona, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; Original unclipped dust jacket protected by archival Brodart cover. All domestic orders shipped protected in a Box. Bookseller Inventory # 55008

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Scribner, New York

Publication Date: 1981

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title


From the American Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams comes a timeless, intoxicating collection of evocative stories. In these exquisite tales, an explorer goes mad when faced with the disappearance of a river; blue herons descend upon Manhattan; a lonely desert hermit clears a path for a secret celestial wind; and more.


If science seeks to demystify life, literature can restore a needed measure of wonder to it. Or, as one of the characters in Barry Lopez's collection of short stories Winter Count puts it, "If you are careful, I think there is probably nothing that cannot be retrieved."

Much indeed is retrieved in Lopez's pages, first published in 1981: lost species, lost memories, lost emotions. In one especially Borgesian story, a university professor seeks to puzzle out the facts behind 19th-century reports of a herd of white buffalo that, singing, pointed a way into heaven. In another, a young man catches a glimpse into the workings of the stars and planets in an unlikely corner of the Arizona desert. In still another, a traveler recapitulates the pain of lost love while contemplating the graceful flight of herons.

Lopez's marvelous stories are about many things. Underlying them is a shared precision of language and vision, a precision that characterizes the author's works of nonfiction (Of Wolves and Men, Arctic Dreams). Behind Lopez's stories as well is a quiet insistence on the centrality of nature--an awareness of which, he suggests, can make the busiest city livable, and the deepest wounds of the heart bearable. --Gregory McNamee

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