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Where Rivers Change Directions

Mark Spragg

ISBN 10: 0874806178 / ISBN 13: 9780874806175
Published by University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Laura Grim (Austin, TX, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

This is the first state of the first edition. Signed by Spragg. Tiny stain on bottom edge of book, otherwise clean and bright. Dust jacket shows slight bump. ; Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 14321

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Where Rivers Change Directions

Publisher: University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

It is a voice that echoes off canyon walls, springs from the rush of rivers, thunders from the hooves of horses. It belongs to award-winner Mark Spragg, and it's as passionate and umcompromising as the wilderness in northwest Wyomingin which he was born: the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower forty-eight states. Where Rivers Change Direction is a memoir of childhood spent on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming with a family struggling against the elements and against themselves, and with the wry and wise cowboy who taught him life's most important lessons.
As the young Spragg undergoes the inexorable rites of passage that forge the heart and soul of man, he channelsPeter Matthiessen and the novels of Ernest Hemingway in his truly unforgettable illuminations of the heartfelt yearnings, the unexpected wisdom, and the irrevocable truths that follow in his wake."

Review:

"Wyoming, land of wind and dust, of suicides, loneliness, and fierce lovemaking, of uninterrupted vistas stretching twenty miles in every direction, of hard-drinking men and fighting women, forms the backdrop to Spragg's brave and beautiful coming-of-age memoir. Readers expecting a quaint, picturesque yarn will find instead an elemental, powerful confrontation with the naked realities of living and dying. Growing up on the high Yellowstone Plateau on the state's oldest dude ranch, a family business dating back to 1898, Spragg wrangles horses for his taciturn father, trying to win his respect and approval. At age fourteen, Spragg shoots and mercy-kills his beloved, aged, sickly steed, whose corpse will be used as bait for bears targeted by human hunters. The teenage Spragg joins his father on hunts, an experience he recalls ruefully.... From quotidian events -- communing with horses, attending a livestock auction -- he fashions existential encounters with nature, self, fear, death, God.... A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer".

-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A vivid portrait of life in the American outback." -"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A discovery... what makes the book so affecting is that everything is approached with a boy's generous and unwearied heart." -"Big Sky Journal"
"The cruel, punishing sound of the wind; the rich, earthy smell of horses; the bitter joy of boy becoming man--Spragg's spare but sensual essays will resonate not only with males and horse lovers, but also with anyone who treasures an examined life." -"Utne Reader"
"A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer." -"Publishers Weekly"
"This is a book that deserves many readers." -Larry McMurty
"Here is a book for women to read to learn the hearts of men. Here is a book for men to read to curse what they have lost. This soulful book walks us to a place of restoration through the big wide open of Wyoming. Mark Spragg's words, his stories are a fine example of blood writing, every sentence alive." -Terry Tempest Williams
"Stirring, evocative, finely nuanced, gritty-marvelous!" -Gretel Ehrlich, author of "The Solace of Open Spaces"

A vivid portrait of life in the American outback. San Francisco Chronicle
A discovery what makes the book so affecting is that everything is approached with a boy s generous and unwearied heart. Big Sky Journal
The cruel, punishing sound of the wind; the rich, earthy smell of horses; the bitter joy of boy becoming man Spragg s spare but sensual essays will resonate not only with males and horse lovers, but also with anyone who treasures an examined life. Utne Reader
A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer. Publishers Weekly
"This is a book that deserves many readers." Larry McMurty
"Here is a book for women to read to learn the hearts of men. Here is a book for men to read to curse what they have lost. This soulful book walks us to a place of restoration through the big wide open of Wyoming. Mark Spragg's words, his stories are a fine example of blood writing, every sentence alive." Terry Tempest Williams
"Stirring, evocative, finely nuanced, gritty-marvelous!" Gretel Ehrlich, author of The Solace of Open Spaces"

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Laura Grim, 2001 Raleigh Ave. Austin, TX 78703, bgrim@austin.rr.com, 512-472-4404. If the book arrives not as described, returns are accepted within 10 buisness days
for a full refund. Books will be held 7 days awaiting payment by check or money
order. Credit card orders via ABE or PayPal. Texas Residents include 8.25% sales
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