All the Wild That Remains

All the Wild That Remains

Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West

Book - 2015
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Retraces the footsteps of two American writers who personified the West, visiting their birthplaces and the sites they wrote about, and discussing the future of the region, now plagued by droughts, fires, fracking, and drilling.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393089998
Branch Call Number: 813.54 G333a 2015
Characteristics: 354 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Staff Picks: Best of 2015

Here's what we loved this year. Best books: Amanda B. rounded up a list of the Oro Valley Library's favorite books of the year. Our YA librarians let customers guide them in making this list of the best teen reads of 2015. Jessica P. shared her intimidatingly long list of five star books of 2015. The Seed Library team picked books for all ages to include in their best seedy reads. Susan… (more)

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From Library Staff

The author travels to places that were important to noted writers and environmentalists, Wallace Stegner and Edward Abbey, in an effort to understand what the future of West might be like.

Top Pick for Southwest Book of the Year 2015

David Gessner brings alive writers Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner in this personal, literary, road trip meditation on the state of the American West. ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS visits locations that influenced the work of Stegner and Abbey and revisits places that featured in Gessner’s own perso... Read More »

Selected by Helen Woodhams as a Southwest Books of the Year 2015 Top Pick.

A Southwest Books of the Year 2015 Top Pick, selected by Bill Broyles

From the critics

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Sep 18, 2015

David Gessner uses a road trip to visit locations in the West critical to the two iconic western writers while visiting his own past as a student at the University of Colorado. Before he left he read and re-read their work and asked questions relevant to today's concerns with climate change, water and resource use, i.e. fracking.
The book is part homage, part environmental wake-up call and part personal memoir. It was hard to pin down the author’s purpose or what he was expecting his readers to get. I consider myself an environmentalist. I’m a big fan of Wallace Stegner’s, less so Edward Abbey. A little disappointed.

Jun 23, 2015

On the surface Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner don't seem to have much in common. Abbey was a free-spirited wild man who channeled Thoreau (with a lot more sex and drinking), hated authority, and inspired radical environmental movements. Stegner was respectable, reserved, and incredibly hard working, putting out both books of fiction ("Angle of Repose") and non-fiction (books about the Mormons and John Wesley Powell). Their paths crossed briefly when Abbey was a writing student of Stegner's, but they both shared a deep love of nature, were strong defenders of the environment, and made their homes in the West, which was the subject of many of their books. David Gessner's book is part travelogue and part biography. He explores the land they wrote about, talks to some people that knew them, and talks about their lives, particularly their concern for the environment and their exploration of both the mythic and the actual West. Gessner inserts too much of himself into the book, but he's picked fascinating subjects and you'll come away with a better sense of both men. Most importantly, you'll want to read their books.


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