As someone who has broadened the notion of what it means to be both a world traveler and a profoundly curious writer, it’s no wonder that National Book Award–winning author Barry Lopez, now 74 years old and battling terminal cancer, has given us a work so expansive it can only be named Horizon. Lopez has visited more than 70 countries, and though his book is loosely divided into just six regions — from the Oregon Coast to the Transantarctic mountains — it wanders off course with the regularity you’d expect from a seasoned explorer. Lopez’s facility in drawing parallels between cultures, the natural environment, and his own experiences makes Horizon much more than a travelogue or a memoir; it’s a deeply personal and fluid meditation on a devastated and devastatingly beautiful world — and what happens next depends entirely on human compassion. It’s a book infused with urgency and wisdom, written by someone who has, as much as possible, seen it all. Recommended By Renee P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters — human, animal, and natural — that have shaped an extraordinary life.
Taking us nearly from pole to pole — from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth — and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as "one of our finest writers," gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.
As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys — to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe — and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern and frustration along with humanity and hope — a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America's great thinkers and most humane voices.
"Literary journalism, memoir and travelogue: so compelling it deserves its own genre." The Washington Post
"[Lopez] blends vivid reportage on landscapes, wildlife, and the knotty relationships among the scientists he accompanies with larger musings on natural history, environmental and climate crises, and the sins of Western imperialism in erasing indigenous cultures . . . His prose is so evocative and his curiosity so infectious that readers will be captivated." Publishers Weekly
"Sublime, dreamlike. One of America's foremost naturalist writers, Lopez is a welcoming host as he brings you across the world . . . Above all else, he wants us to consider. To find context and connections. To think about where to go from here. To take our time. Horizon is a contemplation of Lopez's belief that the only way forward is compassionately, and together." NPR
"Barry Lopez is a straight-up magnificent writer. To read Horizon is to be transported to wondrous landscapes far beyond the pale, and thereby obtain an astounding perspective on our increasingly uncertain future. Lopez expresses faith that our species can avert annihilation by investing 'more deeply in the philosopher's cardinal virtues' courage, justice, reverence, and compassion — virtues this book possesses in abundance." Jon Krakauer
About the Author
Barry Lopez is the author of two collections of essays; several story collections; Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist, and Crow and Weasel, a novella-length fable. He contributes regularly to both American and foreign journals and has traveled to more than 70 countries to conduct research. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundations and has been honored by a number of institutions for his literary, humanitarian, and environmental work. Additional information at barrylopez.com.
Powell's Staff on PowellsBooks.Blog
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