Where Rivers Change Direction

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9780099280750: Where Rivers Change Direction

Mark Spragg grew up on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming, a place of unrelenting winds, pitiless blizzards, fierce rivers, and the men who work there have to be tough to survive. He writes lyrically of this world, its animals - horses, bears, elk - and of its people, in particular his parents and John, an old cowboy who became his mentor.

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Product Description:

Where Rivers Change Direction In a "piercing voice from the heartland" ("Publishers Weekly"), Spragg tells the story of a boyhood spent on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming, with a family struggling against the elements and against themselves, and of the wry and wise cowboy who taught him life's most important lessons. Full description

Review:

"Wyoming, land of wind and dust, of suicides, loneliness, and fierce lovemaking, of uninterrupted vistas stretching twenty miles in every direction, of hard-drinking men and fighting women, forms the backdrop to Spragg's brave and beautiful coming-of-age memoir. Readers expecting a quaint, picturesque yarn will find instead an elemental, powerful confrontation with the naked realities of living and dying. Growing up on the high Yellowstone Plateau on the state's oldest dude ranch, a family business dating back to 1898, Spragg wrangles horses for his taciturn father, trying to win his respect and approval. At age fourteen, Spragg shoots and mercy-kills his beloved, aged, sickly steed, whose corpse will be used as bait for bears targeted by human hunters. The teenage Spragg joins his father on hunts, an experience he recalls ruefully.... From quotidian events -- communing with horses, attending a livestock auction -- he fashions existential encounters with nature, self, fear, death, God.... A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer".

-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A vivid portrait of life in the American outback." -"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A discovery... what makes the book so affecting is that everything is approached with a boy's generous and unwearied heart." -"Big Sky Journal"
"The cruel, punishing sound of the wind; the rich, earthy smell of horses; the bitter joy of boy becoming man--Spragg's spare but sensual essays will resonate not only with males and horse lovers, but also with anyone who treasures an examined life." -"Utne Reader"
"A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer." -"Publishers Weekly"
"This is a book that deserves many readers." -Larry McMurty
"Here is a book for women to read to learn the hearts of men. Here is a book for men to read to curse what they have lost. This soulful book walks us to a place of restoration through the big wide open of Wyoming. Mark Spragg's words, his stories are a fine example of blood writing, every sentence alive." -Terry Tempest Williams
"Stirring, evocative, finely nuanced, gritty-marvelous!" -Gretel Ehrlich, author of "The Solace of Open Spaces"

A vivid portrait of life in the American outback. San Francisco Chronicle
A discovery what makes the book so affecting is that everything is approached with a boy s generous and unwearied heart. Big Sky Journal
The cruel, punishing sound of the wind; the rich, earthy smell of horses; the bitter joy of boy becoming man Spragg s spare but sensual essays will resonate not only with males and horse lovers, but also with anyone who treasures an examined life. Utne Reader
A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer. Publishers Weekly
"This is a book that deserves many readers." Larry McMurty
"Here is a book for women to read to learn the hearts of men. Here is a book for men to read to curse what they have lost. This soulful book walks us to a place of restoration through the big wide open of Wyoming. Mark Spragg's words, his stories are a fine example of blood writing, every sentence alive." Terry Tempest Williams
"Stirring, evocative, finely nuanced, gritty-marvelous!" Gretel Ehrlich, author of The Solace of Open Spaces"

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Spragg, Mark
Published by 2000-10-05. (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099280752 ISBN 13: 9780099280750
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
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Cambridge Rare Books
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Book Description 2000-10-05., 2000. Book Condition: New. Vintage. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 278pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1757391

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