Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Barren, Wild, and Worthless: Living in the Chihuahuan Desert Hardcover


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$61.72 $0.89 $25.00

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Up to 50% Off Materials & Chemistry Books
For a limited time, enjoy special savings on materials and chemistry titles from Springer. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 203 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; 1st edition (October 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826316514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826316516
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,794,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A collection of insightful essays . . . Here are stories of conditions often out of balance, mostly without visible remedy—short-sighted urban renewal, the legacy of over-grazing, aquifer depletion, the loss of an old church and with it the gathering place of a whole community. . . . Those interested in the history and ecology of the region will want to pick it up, as well as those looking for good contemporary essay writing about the West." —The New Mexican
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Appearing barren and most definitely wild, the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States may look worthless to some, but for Susan Tweit it is an inspiration. In this collection of seven elegant personal essays, she explores undiscovered facets of this seemingly hostile environment. With eloquence, passion, and insight, she describes and reflects on the relationship between the land, history, and people and makes this underappreciated region less barren for those who would share her journeys.

"A collection of insightful essays . . . Here are stories of conditions often out of balance, mostly without visible remedy--short-sighted urban renewal, the legacy of overgrazing, aquifer depletion, the loss of an old church and with it the gathering place of a whole community. . . . Those interested in the history and ecology of the region will want to pick it up, as well as those looking for good contemporary essay writing about the West." --The New Mexican

"Through her stories and the stories inherent in the land, we come not only to feel this country, but to believe in its dry, bony presence as a place of miracles and wild wisdom." --Terry Tempest Williams

"There's often little to this terrain, but to the author it's a beautiful landscape bursting with stories and wildlife, with big cities and small chunks of quietness found in few other places on earth. Tweit's essays have a pleasant style that combines history with personal discovery." --Book Talk --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


More About the Author

My training is in field ecology, the study of the natural communities that make Earth a living planet. I once spent weeks in wild places studying grizzly bear habitat, wildfire patterns and sagebrush communities. I turned to writing when I realized I loved telling the stories behind the data more than collecting those data.

I'm the author of twelve books that explore the interrelationships that form what Aldo Leopold called the "community of the land." My work has appeared in magazines and newspapers from Audubon and Popular Mechanics to High Country News and the Los Angeles Times - and has been heard on the Martha Stewart Living Radio Network.

I've taught workshops at colleges, universities, and writing festivals from University of California-Riverside and Miami University of Ohio to Wofford College in South Carolina, as well as at home and online. Audiences as diverse as the International Xeriscape Conference, Collegiate Peaks Forum, Monte Vista Crane Festival, and the Walking Words Writing Festival have called my talks "inspiring" and "insightful." I coach individual writers, review manuscripts for university presses, and contribute to "The Perch," the blog of Audubon magazine, and Story Circle Network's "HerStories" as well as my own blog. My current teaching and speaking schedule is on my web site (susanjtweit.com).

I'm a Quaker, a step-mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mentor & mentee, and a friend. I belong to an informal network of writers and artists who speak for the land, and to Story Circle Network, Women Writing the West, ASLE, and Colorado Author's League.

I'm a passionate gardener: I grow my own vegetables, fruits and herbs, and also enjoy the challenge of native plant restoration and "wildscape" design. My designs have been featured in the Rocky Mountain News, Zone 4, and on garden blogs. Take a look at the slide shows on my web site (susanjtweit.com).

I live with my husband, sculptor Richard Cabe, in a house heated by the sun--the sun generates our electricity, too!--on a reclaimed industrial parcel in a high-desert valley tucked in the shadow of the tallest stretch of the Rocky Mountains.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Horn on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I live in Western Colorado, and I love the open spaces. Susan's book takes me back into the wild, empty landscape of New Mexico.
And I think again of the austere beauty, the fragil environment, its fascinating and elusive creatures. And of the sad price if this landscape is inundated by humanity.
I love the book!
The Naturalist-in-Training
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
In Barren, Wild, and Worthless: Living in the Chihuahuan Desert, we arrive with author Susan J. Tweit in her new landscape, so named by explorer John Russell Barlett in 1856. Her husband's job has brought them and their young daughter to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Raised in the Midwest and recently moved from her familiar and loved landscape of Wyoming, Tweit is determined to like her new home. She looks around: "Here is a spacious landscape, indeed, I said to myself cheerfully. But deeper inside a voice wailed, 'It's so brown! And so hot!'" That night, alone in a motel room, Tweit cries herself to sleep.

So begins this poignant journey, as Tweit transforms her despair into a detailed exploration of her new home. We walk with her through the desert, and learn every new creature and cactus. Written with gritty honesty, the book doesn't shy away from the tougher topics, artfully weaving the historical roots and current events into her narrative, addressing such issues as spadefoot toads, storm sewers, and the disappearance of the grizzly.

No reader will forget her essay "Weeds," in which Tweit follows the explosion of tumbleweeds and their aftermath in the social and political terrain of the West and compares this with the experience of Mexican immigrants in the Southwest today. Weaving together past and present, land and people, Tweit begins with the death of an undocumented immigrant along a busy highway outside of Las Cruces, NM. "As they zipped by in their air-conditioned vehicles, passers-by could not have missed seeing the man as he stood just a few yards from the road, growing increasingly delirious from hunger and thirst." What makes such a thing possible? "When does a weed become a problem, something that we root out, spray with herbicides, destroy?
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa6186c24)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?