‘Vivid, tough and funny. Wyoming has found its Whitman.’Annie Dillard
‘I suspect that my original motive for coming here was to “lose myself” in new and unpopulated territory. Instead of producing the numbness I thought I wanted, life on the sheep ranch woke me up.’
In 1976, Gretel Ehrlich travelled from her home in New York to Wyoming to shoot a film on sheep herders. While she was away, her partner died. Although she had never planned to stay, Ehrlich found herself unable to leave. What started out as a work trip became the beginning of a new life, as well as a long and deep attachment to place.
Writing of sheep herding alone across Wyoming badlands, her experience of being struck by lightning, the true meaning of cowboys, and taking her new husband to the rodeo for their honeymoon, as well as the changing seasons, extreme winters and the wind, Ehrlich draws us into her personal relationship with this ‘planet of Wyoming’ she has come to call home.
As tough as it is tender,The Solace of Open Spacesis travel memoir that is embedded in place, and nature writing with an unexpected bite. It is a bold testimony to how the landscape we live in affects who we are.