Writing a biography of an author can be a challenging task -- how much do you write about the subject's life, how much about the work? -- and reviewing such a biography even more so. That is especially the case when the subject of the biography is Edward Abbey, who wanted to be a novelist but wrote himself into several identities, among them wilderness Jeremiah and curmudgeonly cowboy. Abbey regularly complained that reviewers wrote too much about him and not enough about his books, a criticism that could be aptly applied to James Cahalan's new biography, Edward Abbey: A Life. …
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Gregory Gipson writes from suburban Tampa, Fla.
Are there two different versions of environmentalism, one “white,” one “black”?
Zappos billionaire wants to turn a dusty Las Vegas wasteland into a thriving urban hub
Oil refinery threatened by sea-level rise, asks government to fix problem
Climate refugees, DO NOT MOVE TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Don’t believe anything you read at Natural News