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Wandering Time: Western Notebooks (Camino del Sol) Hardcover – January 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Series: Camino del Sol
  • Hardcover: 130 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816518661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816518661
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this slender volume, Urrea, writer in residence at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, documents his journey through the American West as he escapes from a failed marriage and an unresolved past. His admiration for some of the great writers who traveled and kept journals is apparent throughout the book. The beauty of the land and the discovery of nature are entwined with realistic accounts of some of the people he encounters on his pilgrimage. His language varies from the colorful and descriptive to a forced roughness and an attempt to be "cool." There is also a lack of connection among many of the journal entries. References to writers such as Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, Tom McGuane, and others are refreshing details in an otherwise bland piece. Recommended for large collections and area libraries.?Cynde Bloom Lahey, New Canaan Lib., CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A disjointed, gushing collection of musings on and descriptions of a yearlong road trip cum walking tour of Rocky Mountain National Park. After his difficult marriage came apart, Urrea (By the Lake of Sleeping Children, 1996, etc.) embarked on a trip along the flanks of the Rockies in an attempt to bring new openness to his heart and live a more soulful life. The journal he kept during his wanderings says surprisingly little about the broken marriage that provoked them. Instead, it records Urrea's thoughts on the sights he seesbroken cars, playful butterfliesand the people he meets as he drives and walks his way through the parks and cities of Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana. Urrea has an endearing talent for noticing the small things in nature (mouse tracks, slow and fast ants, baby snakes), and his enthusiasm for getting to know people from all walks of life (bishops, mechanics, homeboys, neo-Nazis, nature-lovers, evangelists, hippies, rednecks, Mexican laborers) is a refreshing departure from the studied cynicism of many writers today. But much of Urrea's writing is marred by a vagueness that can approach absurdity (``Anyone who has ever engaged an aspen in any meaningful dialogue at all recognizes its optimistic and generous nature almost immediately'') and his constant references to other writers (Abbey, Kerouac, Bukowski, Ackerman, and Basho, to name a few) and to his own process of writing a journal fill this book like so much white noise. A disappointing exercise, Urrea's journals lack the narrative focus and emotional power to keep pulling the reader through his countless tangents. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This American poet writer delivers songs in sentences and has a singular voice that calls out to you long after the book is lost on the shelf. His words don't just stay with you, but the spirit of a decent man does too. An engaging, funny, reflective, lyrical read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leonap on May 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This little book fell off the bookstore shelf in front of me while I was browsing so I knew it was meant for me to buy and read. It was also the first time I felt so inspired to write to the author to say how much his writing moved me. The book tells of his travels around the Western US while trying to find direction in his life but it is really a heart to heart talk with the reader. You will feel like you have an author for a best friend and you will never forget the beauty of how he puts his words together.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NXSULLI@MSN.COM on March 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Luis writes from his soul; he is a wonderful person and it shows in his work. Kirkus doesn't know what he/she's talking about...Luis is one of the world's greatest writers, and one of my favorite people. I hope he's happy and well. I am, Nicolina
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More About the Author

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph.
Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all the major genres. The critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. The Devil's Highway, his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. An historical novel, The Hummingbird's Daughter tells the story of Teresa Urrea, sometimes known as the Saint of Cabora and the Mexican Joan of Arc. The book, which involved 20 years of research and writing, won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction and, along with The Devil's Highway, was named a best book of the year by many publications. It has been optioned by acclaimed Mexican director Luis Mandoki for a film to star Antonio Banderas.
Urrea's most recent novel, Into the Beautiful North, imagines a small town in Mexico where all the men have immigrated to the U.S. A group of young women, after seeing the film The Magnificent Seven, decide to follow the men North and persuade them to return to their beloved village. A national best-seller, Into the Beautiful North, earned a citation of excellence from the American Library Association Rainbow's Project. A short story from Urrea's collection, Six Kinds of Sky, was recently released as a stunning graphic novel by Cinco Puntos Press. Mr.Mendoza's Paintbrush, illustrated by artist Christopher Cardinale, has already garnered rave reviews and serves as a perfect companion to Into the Beautiful North as it depicts the same village in the novel.
Into the Beautiful North, The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter have been chosen by more than 30 different cities and colleges for One Book community read programs.
Urrea has also won an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America for best short story (2009, "Amapola" in Phoenix Noir). His first book, Across the Wire, was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the Christopher Award. Urrea also won a 1999 American Book Award for his memoir, Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life and in 2000, he was voted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame following the publication of Vatos. His book of short stories, Six Kinds of Sky, was named the 2002 small-press Book of the Year in fiction by the editors of ForeWord magazine. He has also won a Western States Book Award in poetry for The Fever of Being and was in The 1996 Best American Poetry collection. Urrea's other titles include By the Lake of Sleeping Children, In Search of Snow, Ghost Sickness and Wandering Time.
Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College and the University of Colorado and he was the writer in residence at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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