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The Solace of Open Spaces

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A collection of transcendent, lyrical essays on life in the American West, the classic companion to Gretel Ehrlich’s new book, Unsolaced

“Wyoming has found its Whitman.” —Annie Dillard


Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on “the planet of Wyoming,” a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life.
 
Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces—the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons—in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves.
 
Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose “as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning” (Newsday), Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us.
The Solace Of Open SpacesPreface

The Solace of Open Spaces

Obituary

Other Lives

About Men

From a Sheepherder's Notebook

Friends, Foes, and Working Animals

The Smooth Skull of Winter

On Water

Just Married

Rules of the Game

To Live in Two Worlds

A Storm, the Cornfield, and Elk

© Neal Conan
GRETEL EHRLICH is the author of Facing the Wave, The Future of Ice, Heart Mountain, The Solace of Open Spaces, This Cold Heaven, and Unsolsced, among other works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Ehrlich studied at Bennington College and UCLA film school. She divides her time between Montana and Hawaii. View titles by Gretel Ehrlich

About

A collection of transcendent, lyrical essays on life in the American West, the classic companion to Gretel Ehrlich’s new book, Unsolaced

“Wyoming has found its Whitman.” —Annie Dillard


Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on “the planet of Wyoming,” a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life.
 
Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces—the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons—in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves.
 
Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose “as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning” (Newsday), Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us.

Table of Contents

The Solace Of Open SpacesPreface

The Solace of Open Spaces

Obituary

Other Lives

About Men

From a Sheepherder's Notebook

Friends, Foes, and Working Animals

The Smooth Skull of Winter

On Water

Just Married

Rules of the Game

To Live in Two Worlds

A Storm, the Cornfield, and Elk

Author

© Neal Conan
GRETEL EHRLICH is the author of Facing the Wave, The Future of Ice, Heart Mountain, The Solace of Open Spaces, This Cold Heaven, and Unsolsced, among other works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Ehrlich studied at Bennington College and UCLA film school. She divides her time between Montana and Hawaii. View titles by Gretel Ehrlich

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