Playing Desert Solitaire with Edward Abbey
Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness just happened to be published and to become an almost-instant cult classic in 1968, a tumultuous year for the United States and the world. The collection of essays draws upon Abbey’s three years as a park ranger in the labyrinthine deserts of southeastern Utah. Writing in a manner that is at once rude and sensitive, angry and loving, Abbey projects the voice of a latter-day prophet, not only crying out in the wilderness, but crying out for the wilderness. Abbey’s desert experiences provide what Thoreau once so poignantly called for: “Contact! Contact!”—direct encounters with earth and rock, sky and water. Abbey’s radical work helped to inspire the Earth First! advocacy movement. But today, the environmental crises that animated his protest have escalated beyond anything he might have envisioned in his day: global warming, shale oil fracking, mountain-top removal mining. What can the late Abbey say to us now? What can he do for us now?
You'll Walk Away with
- Greater familiarity with the writing of Edward Abbey
- An understanding of how Abbey’s work led to the Earth First! advocacy movement and more radical environmentalism
- The curious and creative
- All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between