Synopses & Reviews
In 1987, John Rember returned home to Sawtooth Valley, where he had been brought up. He returned out of a homing instinct: the same forty acres that had sustained his family’s horses had sustained a vision of a place where he belonged in the world, a life where he could get up in the morning, step out the door, and catch dinner from the Salmon River. But to his surprise, he found that what was once familiar was now unfamiliar. Everything might have looked the same to the horses that spring, but to Rember this was no longer home.
In Traplines, Rember recounts his experiences of growing up in a time when the fish were wild in the rivers, horses were brought into the valley each spring from their winter pasture, and electric light still seemed magical. Today those same experiences no longer seem to possess the authenticity they once did. In his journey home, Rember discovers how the West, both as a place in which to live and as a terrain of the imagination, has been transformed. And he wonders whether his recollections of what once was prevent him from understanding his past and appreciating what he found when he returned home. In Traplines, Rember excavates the hidden desires that color memory and shows us how, once revealed, they can allow us to understand anew the stories we tell ourselves.
In 1987 Rember returned to Idaho's Sawtooth Valley, his home as a boy in the late 1950s--a world where he knew he belonged. But his experience there as an adult would be different: not only had he changed, but the appearance and fabric of daily life had also been radically altered.
In 1987 John Rember returned to Idaho's Sawtooth Valley, his home as a boy in the late 1950s and early 1960s--a world where he knew he belonged. But his experience there as an adult would be different: not only had he changed, but the appearance and fabric of daily life had also been radically altered, as the very notion of the West as both place and idea had experienced three decades of transformation. In Traplines, Rember describes his journey of retrospection and reflection in a stream of evanescent memories: of a time when the fish were wild in the rivers, horses were brought into the valley each spring from their winter pastures, the neighbors were all cow-boys, and electric light still seemed magical. But it is also a clear-eyed look at the tricks that memory can play on the individual and on the community as a whole, as evidenced in the curious attempts by the U.S. Forest Service to return the valley to its ''authentic'' condition. Rember has written a stunning life's reckoning: a book at once heartfelt, sharp-witted, and wise.
About the Author
John Rember was born in Sun Valley, Idaho, and grew up in the nearby Sawtooth Valley. He was educated at Harvard and the University of Montana. Rember teaches English at Albertson College in Caldwell, Idaho, and he is the author of two previous books, Coyote in the Mountains and Cheerleaders from Gomorrah.