Which Way West

October 29, 2007

This special issue focuses on books and essays that help us understand the complex, chaotic West.


The Last Ride
Longtime hitchhiker Dev Carey tells Michelle Nijhuis about some of his best – and worst – adventures on Western highways.
Six Good Places
David Oates ranges from the Sierra Nevada to Aix-en-Provence as he considers the particular qualities that make a place worth living in.

Editor's Note

No frigate like a book
This special issue focuses on books and essays that help us understand the complex, chaotic West.


In Large and Sunlit Land
Peter Chilson ponders the parallel fates of two lovely and ravaged lands: The Southwest desert in America and the West Coast of Africa.


Making a home for hope
Laura Paskus interviews Western intellectual, activist and writer Rebecca Solnit.

Book Reviews

Fall reading
A list of the most intriguing current books by Western authors or on Western subjects.
Literary trivia of the West
Test your knowledge with a Western literary trivia quiz.
Mystery in Montana
Deirdre McNamer’s new novel, Red Rover, beautifully captures the unromantic realism of Montana’s small towns.
Looking forward, looking back
William Kittredge brings together new and selected essays about life in the West in The Next Rodeo.
Another near-death experience for environmentalism
Environmental contrarians Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger jump back into the fray with a new book, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility.
‘Men standing in the shadows began to weep’
Writers John N. Maclean and Mark Matthews look closely at two famous – and deadly – Western wildfires in their new books, The Thirtymile Fire and A Great Day to Fight Fire.
Wet words
Brian Doyle recommends the best reads about the Pacific Northwest, with particular emphasis on his home state, Oregon.
Bloodied but unbowed
The Western novel is not entirely dead; it has simply changed a great deal since the glory days of Zane Grey.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Counseling councilmen; a very virtual “virtual” fence; Arizona vs. college students; trapped in a CT scan; trophy land; smelling like a dog; paying taxes with skis.


Borders and saints
Latino writer Luis Alberto Urrea talks about the border and remembers the women in his family who inspired him.


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