My 15 Bytes review of Jana Richman's powerful new book of essays. You'll want to slip Finding Stillness into your pocket or a backpack and take it with you everywhere.
For those who want to open life’s envelope rather than pass it on sealed, you will find no better companion than Jana Richman. Her new book of essays, Finding Stillness in a Noisy World, provides soul food for end times. Couldn’t we all use a dose of soul food right now?
A sixth-generation Utahn and a gifted writer, Richman has given us four books rife with pleasure and trouble. She dares to take her seat right in the middle of conflict. Her novels (The Last Cowgirl and The Ordinary Truth) explore the particularities of family drama in times of drought, both emotional and environmental. Her memoir Riding in the Shadows of Saints simply claims the entire scope of Mormon history, on a solo motorcycle tour. In her new collection of essays, published by University of Utah Press, Richman’s voice holds such assurance and humility, the reader can relax and relent and recall what it is to be thoughtful in and about one’s place.
These are certainly not namby-pamby essays. A stubborn rancher’s daughter, Richman lives by choice in Escalante where Bill Clinton was burned in effigy on Main Street after Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was born.
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, this excerpt from my upcoming novel Innermountain appears in the spring 2018 issue of High Desert Journal. With a stunning painting by Ric Gendron.
Eddie watched them arrive. Seven men emerging from two snowy cars in front of Building One with the grey mountains pocked white behind them. Six wore Levi jackets and aviator sunglasses, the young ones, with hair down their backs, hair in braids wrapped with leather, hair bound with bandanas and beaded headbands. They looked cool as a hippie militia from Life Magazine. Eddie stood there holding the school’s front door, feeling like a chump in his small orange parka and pleated khakis: football star, Diné student, your average junior, gawking.
The seventh man, the elder of the AIM pack, wore no coat at all. He simply stepped out of the sedan with his calico shirt open at the neck, the feathers dangling from his braids whomping his chest hard in the breeze. Like they were living. Like something was about to take off. Like it wasn’t even winter. The gray hairs threading his head tethered the frantic birds in place. He had a wide face, did not smile. He could have led a hundred-horse outfit into battle, he seemed that invincible... READ MORE
If you've ever watched a black sheep tear a family apart and wondered about her point of view, this novel is for you. Pritchett is a brave writer. With a poet's heart. Her generosity in life and on the page continue to amaze and inspire me.
A review of Adirondack: Life and Wildlife in the Wild, Wild East
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