Synopses & Reviews
From the National Book Award–winning author of Arctic Dreams,
a highly charged, stunningly original work of fiction—a passionate response to the changes shaping our country today. In nine fictional testimonies, men and women who have resisted the mainstream and who are now suddenly “parties of interest” to the government tell their stories.
A young woman in Buenos Aires watches bitterly as her family dissolves in betrayal and illness, but chooses to seek a new understanding of compassion rather than revenge. A carpenter traveling in India changes his life when he explodes in an act of violence out of proportion to its cause. The beginning of the end of a man’s lifelong search for coherence is sparked by a Montana grizzly. A man blinded in the war in Vietnam wrestles with the implications of his actions as a soldier—and with innocence, both lost and regained.
Punctuated with haunting images by acclaimed artist Alan Magee, Resistance is powerful fiction—Barry Lopez at his best.
"Lopez, author of the National Book Award winning Arctic Dreams and numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction (Light Action in the Caribbean; Of Wolves and Men; etc.), explores opposition and defiance to globalization, xenophobia, political and cultural hegemony, conspicuous consumption, environmental degradation in a slim, brooding collection of timely fictional testimonials. 'Apocalypse' sets the stage, as an American curator living in France receives an ominous official letter from 'Inland Security,' expressing 'widespread irritation with our work, and the government's desire to speak with us.' Through coded e-mails, he determines that all over the world, friends similarly engaged in 'chip[ping] away like coolies at the omnipotent and righteous faade' have received the same missive. They agree to vanish, leaving behind a record of their political and spiritual awakenings. In 'Mortise and Tenon,' a land activist and carpenter reflects on his years of travel, his childhood abuse and an act of terrible violence that put him on a new path toward healing. Vietnam left the narrator of 'Traveling with Bo Ling' a 'blind eunuch with a face of melted wax,' but through the love of a Vietnamese woman, he learns to seek knowledge and experience. In 'The Bear in the Road,' an attorney searching for a spirit guide in the form of an elusive Plains grizzly struggles with issues of responsibility and inner peace. Many of the nine narrators are wanderers; all of them move toward self-knowledge and engagement; each relates his or her story in the same reserved, dignified voice. Passionate in feeling but cool in rhetoric, these testimonials feel like haunting fragments of committed lives; though not always satisfying as straight fiction, they are powerful as artistic argument, suggesting that resistance is the natural state of the conscious and thoughtful. With nine monotypes by Alan Magee. Agent, Peter Matson. 8-city author tour. (June 13)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Barry Lopez is the author of eight previous works of fiction and six works of nonfiction. His stories and essays appear regularly in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Orion,
and the Georgia Review.
In addition to the National Book Award, he is the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science foundations. He lives in western Oregon.
Alan Magee is an artist of international repute whose works reside in many public collections, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Portrait Gallery. He is represented by Forum Gallery in New York and Los Angeles.