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What the other reviewers say about his attitude towards life and nature is right. He is very concerned with geography, not just the physical geography of a place, but also the emotional geography of a place. In a time when we don't always feel very connected to places, reading this book could help you feel connected again, to glimmer what it is like to really feel a part of the place in which you live.
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Although some are stronger than others, each of these stories offers its protagonist a sacred encounter with the natural world we too often ignore. Each story has its own unique grace note that will leave you with a sense of wonder.
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In his anthology, Lopez has focused strictly on the Coyote of Native American lore, and thus has attempted to filter out most of the more modern interpretations and spin-offs, as well as removing any european influences. The observation that Lopez was not entirely successful in this effort shows the difficulty of such a task. The last story, "Coyote Finishes His Work", shows a distinctly "Euro-christian" influence. However, Lopez was at least successful enough to distinguish this piece from Bright's "Coyote Reader". Both are excellent works, and deserve your eye.
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about the Coyote.
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Robin Eschner, a California artist, has executed woodcut prints to accompany an essay by nature writer Barry Lopez regarding his thoughts and actions in response to ... road killed animals.
If you've never read Lopez's wonderful nature writing, travel essays, or fiction, get moving! This book might not be such a good introduction, despite the author's customary elegant, rich but ever-precise prose. (For a fine and easily digested survey of his work, try the recent collection _About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory_, and for Lopez full out and leisurely, go for _Arctic Dreams_.)
The subject matter of _Apologia_ is perhaps a bit in-your-face, though Eschner's tasteful and evocative artwork never is. The pictures cast long, stark shadows, but are never creepy, disgusting, or manipulative.
If you have a strong feeling for animals, at least some ambivalence about the domination of the American landscape by the combustion-engine carriage, and the price the former pay for unsought violent encounters with the latter -- or if you know someone who feels that way -- this thin, coffee-table-style volume would be a lovely and appropriate purchase.
And if you ever get the chance to see Lopez speak or read from his work, GO! He is a truly sensitive and moral man, and a magnificent writer.
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