2017 Selection: Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (1968) by Edward Abbey
“Edward Abbey is funny, romantic, crass, and, I think, having a renewed relevance. He will definitely reaffirm some things you believe and alter others. I don’t think anyone would agree with everything Abbey promotes, and that’s the point.”
—Nick Kramer, Associate Registrar, Loans & Exhibitions
As both a philosophical memoir and collection of vignettes from Abbey’s time as a park ranger at Arches National Monument, Desert Solitaire discusses tensions between humans and the desert environment. The book may take on a different meaning in conversation with the California Continued galleries, in which Native people contend that the desert is not a “wilderness” but a tended landscape and a home.
The themes of Desert Solitaire will be incorporated into museumwide experiences and small-group discussions throughout the year.