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Close Ties in Big Landscapes
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September 14, 2015

Our special once-a-year Books and Essays issue, focusing on community and connection. Sarah Gilman finds that closeness means survival in the harsh, vast spaces of Mongolia as well as in the American West. Ana Maria Spagna describes how Maidu Indians came together to reclaim a sacred California valley from a utility company. Plus book reviews and profiles of authors like Erika T. Wurth, Mitchell S. Jackson and Lucia Berlin.

Feature

Claustrophilia: Do wide-open lands bring us closer together?
Claustrophilia: Do wide-open lands bring us closer together?
A writer finds that Colorado small-town life and Mongolian mishaps strengthen her human connections.
A displaced California tribe reclaims sacred land
A displaced California tribe reclaims sacred land
The Mountain Maidu return to their valley, but the work of reclamation never ends.

Current

Sketching water chemistry on the Animas, hunting mushrooms in the Northwest.
A visual artist finds her literary voice in New Mexico
A visual artist finds her literary voice in New Mexico
Bev Magennis once covered houses in colorful tiles. Now she writes novels about murder in the rural West.
Where agriculture and aesthetics go hand-in-glove
Where agriculture and aesthetics go hand-in-glove
Former Seattleite and author Bryce Andrews writes and ranches in Montana.

Editor's Note

The real work
The real work

Essays

Notes from the road to bestsellerdom
Notes from the road to bestsellerdom
An author’s promotional book tour includes incontinent owls and posh but uncomfortable luncheons.

Conversation

Writing beyond the reservation stereotype
Writing beyond the reservation stereotype
A Native author creates characters who are making a life in the urban West.
Mitchell S. Jackson finds another Portland
Mitchell S. Jackson finds another Portland
An author speaks on growing up black in 1990s Portland and countering his city's hipster image.

Book Reviews

A look back at a Western artist guild’s colorful history
A look back at a Western artist guild’s colorful history
A review of 'The Denver Artists Guild; Its Founding Members: An Illustrated History' by Stan Cuba.
The fall reading list
The fall reading list
Book recommendations for the cold months ahead.
Self-published books: What to read
Self-published books: What to read
Some favorite under-the-radar writers and their recent releases.
The human cost of Westward expansion
The human cost of Westward expansion
A review of 'American Copper' by Shann Ray.
In the barren Central Valley, a woman unravels
In the barren Central Valley, a woman unravels
A review of 'Into the Valley' by Ruth Galm.
Overlooked author Lucia Berlin gets brought back to the light
Overlooked author Lucia Berlin gets brought back to the light
'A Manual for Cleaning Women,' her posthumous book of stories, reveals a formidable talent.
How to redefine — and defend — wilderness
How to redefine — and defend — wilderness
A review of a new way to look at what’s wild and what’s not, in Jason Mark’s 'Satellites in the High Country' and Fred Pearce’s 'The New Wild.'

Heard Around the West

The myriad ways the natural world disappoints, delights and destroys.
The myriad ways the natural world disappoints, delights and destroys.
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A skipped issue and a trickle of visitors
A skipped issue and a trickle of visitors
Plus, a plug for our classroom subscription program and a gun-related correction.
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