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The Telling Distance
Conversations with the American Desert
By Bruce Berger
243 pp. / 5.50 in x 9.00 in / 1997
Paper (978-0-8165-1677-3)
Related Interest
  - Nature and Environment

Winner of the 1990 Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, The Telling Distance evokes the yearning expanses of our southwestern deserts and finds them full of sensuous marvels,
A contemplation of the beautiful and the belching, snorting, seething desert that sprawls across the American Southwest.

—Los Angeles Times

Berger shares a significant kinship with those early romantic individuals who, in looking into nature, found a greater sense of self and soul. . . . Here is the work not so much of a desert rat as a desert connoisseur.

—Bloomsbury Review

Berger takes his place with Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez.

—Denver Post

This volume belongs on the shelf with all great desert literature. Berger updates the traditional chronicle of the desert by admiring its vastness and mysteries while being acutely aware of its vulnerability. . . . Berger's prose is perfectly adapted to his thoughts as cacti are to the desert—readers will find quotables on every page.


erratic life forms, eccentric fellow travelers, dry humor, and surprise. In prose that revels in paradox, it reveals desert distances to be doubly telling: they both magnify our spirit and have incomparable tales to tell.

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