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How to Cuss in Western: And Other Missives from the High Desert

How to Cuss in Western: And Other Missives from the High Desert

by Michael P. Branch


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Where nature writing meets humor—a raucous, hilarious look at life in the high desert of Nevada, from the author of Raising Wild and Rants from the Hill.

Edward Abbey encouraged his readers to “be loyal to what you love, be true to the Earth, and fight your enemies with passion and laughter.” Here is Michael Branch’s response. Full of clear-eyed explorations of the natural world, witty cultural observations, and heart-warming family connections, How to Cuss in Western is a cranky and hilarious love letter of sorts to the western Great Basin Desert of Nevada.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611804614
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 694,732
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

MICHAEL P. BRANCH is a professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he teaches creative nonfiction, American literature, environmental studies, and film studies. He has published five books and more than two hundred essays, articles, and reviews. Mike lives with his wife, Eryn, and daughters, Hannah Virginia and Caroline Emerson, in a passive solar home of their own design at 6,000 feet in the remote high desert of northwestern Nevada, in the ecotone where the Great Basin Desert and Sierra Nevada Mountains meet. There he writes, plays blues harmonica, drinks sour mash, curses at baseball on the radio, cuts stove wood, and walks at least 1,200 miles each year in the surrounding hills, canyons, ridges, arroyos, and playas.

Table of Contents

Laughing Matters xi

Few and Far Between 1

Walking to California 9

Tired of Chickens 13

The Leprechaun Trap 18

Will the Real Fake John Muir Please Stand Up? 23

Such Sweet Sorrow 31

Them! and Us 39

Scout's Honor 43

Imagining Shark Mountain 50

The Moopets 55

Desert Flood 63

What Would Edward Abbey Do? 70

Lone Tree 75

How to Cuss in Western 80

Desert River Music 87

Shit Happens 95

Sir Rantsalot in the Dead Tree Forest 104

Road Captain 111

My First Rodeo 116

IH8 DMV 127

Don't Fence Me In 135

Cowboys and Aliens 142

Trial by Jury 148

Closing the Mountain 153

Pleistocene Rewilding 160

Uncle Hedgie 166

Upon the Burning of Our House 172

Running into Winter 181

Missives from the Hill 186

Credits 191

Acknowledgments 193

About the Author 197

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