Synopses & Reviews
In the twenty-some years since award-winning writer Diane Ackerman first visited the Tequesquite ranch in New Mexico, she has delighted readers with her rich, observant prose in such books as A Natural History of the Senses
and, most recently, Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden
. However, her first nonfiction book, Twilight of the Tenderfoot
, reveals the strong beginnings of a writer who renders the experience of nature and place into an intimate and magical affair.
Now back in print, Twilight of the Tenderfoot lets readers once more glimpse the backbreaking, soul-satisfying work of ranching. Growing up in rural Illinois, Diane Ackerman "knew" the West through film and television. Her abiding love of horses led her to one day seek to ride alongside cowboys on a traditional New Mexican ranch. "At 5:30 the next morning, I buckled on my chaps, and rode out to herd cattle for the first time in my life, not knowing exactly what I would find in an American past mine only by association, a landscape alien as Mars, a desert heat and physical labor so hard it leaves you aching all over."
As a tenderfoot and a woman in a man's world Ackerman undergoes an often hilarious initiation: but she is game and spirited, up to the challenges of red-hot chiles, Red Man chewing tobacco, revved-up horses, snakes dangling from brooms, and tough work well before sunrise. For Ackerman, and for her readers, what happened remains indelibly branded in memory.
A memoir that lets readers glimpse the backbreaking, soul-satisfying work of ranching.
About the Author
Poet, essayist, and naturalist Diane Ackerman has received numerous awards and prizes for her highly acclaimed works, including the John Burroughs Nature Award. She is a visiting professor for the Society for Humanities at Cornell University and lives in upstate New York.