Wildly diverse and equally forbidding, desert terrain has inspired the powerful writings in this literary collection.
Next to rain forests, deserts are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth: endless expanses of arid sand, or swaths of gravel and thorn, or acres of grassland or dust. All differ in their floral, faunal, and geological assemblages, and all inspire vivid and passionate responses from those who experience them first hand. Whether their experience has been life-threatening or benign, few have emerged from a desert without having had their lives changed forever.
Among the writings in this collection, nineteenth-century explorer Sven Hedin staggers through a deadly sandstorm in the Taklamakan, a name that means "you enter and do not return"; Ann Zwinger contemplates golden asters and rabbit brush in Utah; Ariel Dorfman encounters time and memory in El Norte Grande; Edward Abbey lays claim to the arid splendor of Arches National Park; Alan Boyes travels through New Mexico's Jornada del Muerto, and Sydney Upton bemoans Australia's Arunta Desert.
Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.