A Desert Harvest

A Desert Harvest

New and Selected Essays

Book - 2019
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McMillan Palgrave

A career-spanning collection of Bruce Berger’s beautiful, subtle, and spiky essays on the American desert

Occupying a space between traditional nature writing, memoir, journalism, and prose poetry, Bruce Berger’s essays are beautiful, subtle, and haunting meditations on the landscape and culture of the American Southwest. Combining new, unpublished essays with selections from his acclaimed trilogy of “desert books”—The Telling Distance, There Was a River, and Almost an IslandA Desert Harvest is a career-spanning selection of the best work by this unique and undervalued voice.

Wasteland architecture, mountaintop astronomy, Bach in the wilderness, the mind of the wood rat, the canals of Phoenix, and the numerous eccentric personalities who call the desert their home all come to life in these fascinating portraits of America’s seemingly desolate terrains.



Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780374220570
0374220573
Branch Call Number: 814.54 B4532d 2019
Characteristics: xi, 252 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: McCann, Colum 1965-

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PimaLib_SWBooks Jan 03, 2020

There’s a fugue-like quality to these luminous pieces by environmentalist, essayist, poet—and classical pianist—Bruce Berger. They open as with a single voice—with a particular image, observation, or situation—and build in intensity and elaboration. The essays close as if back to the single voice... Read More »

There’s a fugue-like quality to these luminous pieces by environmentalist, essayist, poet—and classical pianist—Bruce Berger. They open as with a single voice—with a particular image, observation, or situation—and build in intensity and elaboration. The essays close as if back to the single voice... Read More »


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PimaLib_SWBooks Jan 03, 2020

There’s a fugue-like quality to these luminous pieces by environmentalist, essayist, poet—and classical pianist—Bruce Berger. They open as with a single voice—with a particular image, observation, or situation—and build in intensity and elaboration. The essays close as if back to the single voice, in a thoughtful, often lyrical, reflection. And Berger does that in topics as varied as nuns slaughtering goats, cacti dying, and dinner with Stephen Hawking. Berger’s interests are expansive; the essays are informative, speculative, meditative. Many concern the fragility and beauty of wildernesses, particularly the desert, but he also writes of living and playing music in La Paz, Baja; and a crazy coot in Florence. Berger’s descriptions of desert landscapes and animals are meticulous and vivid, and his prose can soar. “The spent pincushion [cactus] is a strange jewel,” he writes, “a crucible of woven stars... delicate as a doll’s negligee.” - Christine Wald-Hopkins, Southwest Books of the Year 2019, Pima County Public Library

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