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The six stories in Outside showcase Barry Lopez's majestic talent as a fiction writer. Lopez writes in spare prose, but his narratives resonate with an uncanny power. With a reverence for our exterior and interior landscapes, these stories offer profound insight into the relationships between humans and animals, creativity and beauty, and, ultimately, life and death. Again and again, whether describing a Navajo rug possessing the essence of its maker, a boy who can change places with his half-coyote dog (named Leaves), or a teacher whose presence brings into question the meaning of friendship, Lopez portrays elemental and sacred places. His prose transcends its simplicity to enter spaces of wonder and mystery. As James Perrin Warren says in his compelling introduction, "Lopez's narrators bear witness to extraordinary patterns and purposes . . . The storyteller is vital to the community and to a healthy landscape, but the vital relationship is also reciprocal. . . . We participate, along with Lopez, in the long history of storytelling. We become part of the atmosphere in which wisdom shows itself.
Trinity University Press, 9781595341891, 111pp.
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
About the Author
James Perrin Warren is the S. Blount Mason, Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. Warren specializes in 19th century literature and culture as well as literature of the environment. He is a member of the Environmental Studies faculty. A graduate of Auburn University, he received the Ph.D. from Yale. He is the author of John Burroughs and the Place of Nature (University of Georgia Press, 2006) and The Culture of Eloquence (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999).