Writing Down the River: Into the Heart of the Grand Canyon

Chavez, Denise; Ryan, Kathleen Jo; Lambert, Page

Published by Northland Pub, 1998
ISBN 10: 087358709X / ISBN 13: 9780873587099
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Synopsis: With 15 of today's finest literary writers as your guides, this book will take you into the depths of the Grand Canyon for a ride you will never forget. "For 12 days and 180 miles on the river, I am filled with awe--so struck by it, in fact, that if I have any courage at all, I shall never be the same".--Theresa Jordan. 100+ color photos.

Review: Photographer Kathleen Jo Ryan first witnessed the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Grand Canyon in 1987. A year later she rafted the Colorado River into the canyon, emerging from this transforming experience with the idea for a book: "Going down the river into the heart of the canyon is adventuring into a place of spirit. I hold a warm, overwhelming feeling of gratitude, respect, and humility for having been allowed to float and play through this majestic canyon." In Writing Down the River Ryan shares her gratitude by inviting women writers to venture down the Colorado and contribute their "personal journeys." Gretel Ehrlich provides context--historical, geographic, and biographical--in the foreword, and 15 other writers join the celebration with their individual voices.

Sharman Apt Russell, author of When the Land Was Young: Reflections on American Archaeology, describes her initial peek: "My heart starts beating fast when I first see the Grand Canyon, looking down from the South Rim, the vertigo of too much space. My bones feel hollow, like a bird's bones." Annick Smith, editor of The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology, writes about the roar of the rapids: "Then comes the fifth wave. We climb up and up, stroking hard, but we do not cut through. The wave grows. It's a demon curling above us. Its foaming dragon breath is distinct as a Japanese painting, alive. Now I am stroking air." Judith Freeman, author of A Desert of Pure Feeling, writes of the lingering aftereffects: "For many nights after I left the river I awoke in darkness with the feeling I was still in the canyon. I sat up suddenly in strange beds, in desert motels and distant cities, certain that I was still sleeping on a rock ledge or a spit of sand."

Ryan's photographs of rock, water, and sky round out this evocative portrait of a place unlike any in the world. Taken as a whole, Writing Down the River is a collection of personal reflections as well as a tribute to the unifying power of landscape.

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Title: Writing Down the River: Into the Heart of ...
Publisher: Northland Pub
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Denise Chavez, Kathleen Jo Ryan, Page Lambert
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Book Description Northland Publishing, 1988. Hard Cover with Dustjacket. Book Condition: Fine-. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good-. First Edition First Printing. Oblong hardcover with dustjacket : fine minus / very good minus. Size: 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 072887

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