Another Country: Encounters with the Red Rock Desert


Murray writes with the sure touch and easy grace of a master at the top of his form, and his stories and essays are sure to delight and surprise.
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Murray writes with the sure touch and easy grace of a master at the top of his form, and his stories and essays are sure to delight and surprise.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Fifteen essays and an equal number of short stories praise and explore the experience of the Red Rock Desert of southern Utah and northern Arizona. The essays discuss the natural beauty of the area, the human geography and wildlife, and the interaction between human society and the natural landscape. The short stories are examples of what John Gardner liked to call "moral fiction." There is no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555663209
  • Publisher: Big Earth Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Location of Stories and Essays viii
Preface ix
Introduction: Legends and Journeys 1
Part I
The Elder 7
Another Country 9
Becoming the Desert 20
Dark Canyon 27
Hunt's Mesa 36
Bend in the River 43
What We Found 51
Still Life 60
Mountain Lion 65
The House at the End of the Road 70
Part II
A Walk in the Desert 85
The Exact Location of Paradise 89
Spring's Progress 106
The Story of Diego 111
Summer 116
The Heart of the Matter 120
A Rumor of Autumn 145
Land's End 151
The Quiet Season 158
The World Behind the Sun 163
Part III
Navajo Mountain 181
The Dead 187
A Very Long Time Ago 192
The Woman Who Came with the Spring 196
Sandpainting 218
Points and Lines 221
Grand Gulch 239
Here Today 243
What Does It Mean? 246
The Diamond 249
Afterword: Work in Progress 261
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2002

    Hillerman and Abbey - Make Room for Murray

    John A. Murray's latest book, "Another Country: Encounters with the Red Rock Desert," is a tour de force. Murray has created a new genre, alternating non-fiction nature writing with gutsy, O. Henry-surprising short stories. A lesser writer might founder with this format, but Murray brings home the goods. From a touching elegy for his mother ("Sandpainting") to hard-ball, edgy murder and action ("The World Behind the Sun"), the author writes with a deft, sure hand and leaves no false notes. Although the book carries the reader back and forth from the realm of reality to that of the imagination, the shifts become welcome and anticipated. Many of the stories resonate, calling for re-readings. Characters linger, too. A pediatrician who gives up her love of nature for the grind. A fighter pilot trying to find his soul again on the Colorado River. A Navajo man who makes the unlucky find of a large diamond. A mountain lion, darted and tranquilized, about to be abducted to an Ohio zoo. Tying the work together is the place, the sun-splashed, crimson walls of the Four Corners region, Hillerman country, Abbey country - and, now, Murray country. You can't fail to want to grab your sleeping bag, lace up your boots, and head out for a hike to the Red Rock wilderness after reading this book. And after reading the title story, a gut-wrencher with a surprise ending, you'll also remember to bring along a gallon or two of water. This book is great. Buy two - one for a best friend.

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