Horizon -- Barry Lopez

Staff Pick

Since discovering in college that “traveling…assuaged something in me,” Lopez has gone all over the world; in his extraordinary memoir he revisits places that have meant the most to him in North and South America, Africa, Australia, and both poles. This is not merely travel writing. As he’s done in previous work, notably his classic Arctic Dreams, Lopez not only writes brilliantly about the natural world, he also reflects on what life really means in particular locales. He considers everything from an anthropological perspective, asking how the earliest native peoples might have experienced their land, sky, and sea, then struggles to do likewise. He combines his insatiable curiosity—which ranges to retracing the paths of Captain Cook and other explorers to joining the Leakeys’ excavations in Africa to helping collect meteorites in Antarctica—with a profoundly moral sensibility, looking to ancient cultures for answers to today’s greatest challenges, especially climate change, violence, and human rights. He deeply believes that the answers are there, and that if we can listen carefully enough to our own and the planet’s past, we can rediscover what the elders of traditional cultures knew: “the wisdom of what works.” If this sounds naïve or superficial, read this book. All Lopez’s ideas are grounded in specific places, and his descriptions of these deserts, seas, jungles, and coasts—and especially his near-mystical experiences while watching flamingos on the Galápagos  and penguins on the Ross Ice Shelf--are heartstoppingly lucid and beautiful, and there’s no better definition of truth than that.

Horizon Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780394585826
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2019

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