I've learned to think of myself as having had the luck to grow up at the tail end of a way of existing in which people lived in everyday proximity to animals on territory they knew more precisely than the patterns in the palms of their hands.
William Kittredge's relationship to the spare, often unforgiving, western landscape is fraught with contradictions. Having grown up on a cattle ranch in Oregon, he has an intimate connection to the vast landscape that was once vital to his family's trade. He has also witnessed, over many decades, the depletion of the West's natural resources due to overuse. These luminous essays move from the personal to the political effortlessly. With grace and integrity, Kittredge directly confronts the myths that lie at the heart of the Western experience: male freedom and female domesticity, the wild and the tame, self-interest and the love of the land.
On the heels of Kittredge's very first novel, The Willow Field, published to wide critical acclaim in 2006, we are pleased to offer the very best of his nonfiction writings, which has given him the reputation, in the words of Annie Dillard, as "one of our finest writers."
"Reading this richly detailed book is like listening to Hank Williams. Its twangy, melancholic strains cut to the bone."—Booklist, starred, for Owning It All