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High Country News September 19, 2011



Remediating a Superfund sacrifice zone on Montana's Clark Fork river

The town of Opportunity, Mont., is weighed down by pollution from old copper mining and a modern-day river restoration project.

Rebuilding a river as Washington's Elwha dams come down

How much can we learn from restoring the Elwha River, after the two dams that block it are finally removed?

Editor's Note

Hope and redemption

The story of the West is a story of the quest for redemption - not just for individuals, but for an entire landscape.

Uncommon Westerners

Don't tell her she can't: a profile of author Mary Clearman Blew

Mary Clearman Blew struck out on her own, leaving rural Montana and a life as a housewife to become a professor and writer.

A part of something old: writer Kim Stafford's storied places

Oregon writer Kim Stafford looks for "scattered Edens" in contemporary Western life.

The turn of the wheel: the many lives of writer H. Lee Barnes

Nevada writer H. Lee Barnes brings his experiences as a soldier, cop and casino dealer to his gritty short stories and nonfiction.

Cody Cortez: A faux-file of the West's most mysterious writer

Buddhist cowboy poet Cody Cortez is so elusive it's almost as if he doesn't really exist.


The mirage of pristine wilderness

The old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest may not be that old after all - but that doesn't mean they're not big and beautiful.


Seeds of atonement: an interview with writer Shann Ray

Shann Ray's short stories focus on the theme of redemption in the lives of ordinary Western families.

Book Reviews

Fall books for the sweetly socked-in

High Country News lists some of the new and intriguing books of the coming fall season.

Tales of sagebrush and murder: A review of Assumption

In Percival Everett's mystery trilogy, New Mexico Deputy Ogden Walker chases murderers and wrestles with his own complex identity.

Survival and opportunism in Butte: A review of The Richest Hill on Earth

Richard S. Wheeler's historical novel dramatizes the rivalry between the "Copper Kings" in 19th century Butte, Mont.

Living close to the bone in modern Alaska: A review of Bear Down, Bear North

The short stories in Melinda Moustakis' book plunge the reader into the challenging world of contemporary Alaskans.

Stories like a bale unrolling: a review of Conjugations of the Verb To Be

Glen Chamberlain's short stories bring to life the people of a fictional Montana town.

No bones about it: two books on the disappearing Everett Ruess

Two new books tackle the mystery of Everett Ruess, who vanished somewhere in the Four Corners region in 1934.

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