Join our online discussion of our March book selection

March 10 @ 6:30 – 8 pm
Discussion Leader:  Elizabeth Burns

In this invigorating mix of natural history and adventure, artist-naturalist Ellen Meloy uses turquoise—the color and the gem—to probe deeper into our profound human attachment to landscape.

From the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Bahamas to her home ground on the high plateaus and deep canyons of the Southwest, we journey with Meloy through vistas of both great beauty and great desecration. Her keen vision makes us look anew at ancestral mountains, turquoise seas, and even motel swimming pools. She introduces us to Navajo “velvet grandmothers” whose attire and aesthetics absorb the vivid palette of their homeland, as well as to Persians who consider turquoise the life-saving equivalent of a bullet-proof vest. Throughout, Meloy invites us to appreciate along with her the endless surprises in all of life and celebrates the seduction to be found in our visual surroundings.

Ellen Maloy

Ellen Maloy

Author and Pulitzer Prize Nominee

All good writing finds voice in place and experience; really good nature writing lives in the field. Ellen Meloy breathed the desert air and wrote. Her voice was strong and sure because her inspiration was direct. Ellen was widely recognized for her excellence, which gave birth to four books, all collections of essays, largely about human connections to wilderness, deserts, and rivers. No river trip, hike, or car camp was complete without her journal.

Ellen Meloy’s sudden death on November 4, 2004, sent waves of shock and sorrow from her red rock home in Bluff, Utah. She contributed a sensual lodestone, a shining river cobble to the literature of natural history, science, and the southwest. A world of readers, friends, and family seek to illuminate and honor her legacy of words through a memorial fund, established to empower other writers with a place in the desert.


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