The Solace of Open Spaces

The Solace of Open Spaces

by Gretel Ehrlich


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A collection of transcendent, lyrical essays on life in the American West, the classic companion to Gretel Ehrlich’s new book, Unsolaced

“Wyoming has found its Whitman.” —Annie Dillard

Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on “the planet of Wyoming,” a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life.
Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces—the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons—in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves.
Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose “as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning” (Newsday), Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140081138
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/02/1986
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 253,187
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gretel Ehrlich is the author of This Cold HeavenThe Future of Ice, Heart Mountain, Facing the Wave, and The Solace of Open Spaces, among other works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Ehrlich studied at Bennington College and UCLA film school. She lives in Wyoming.

Table of Contents

The Solace Of Open SpacesPreface

The Solace of Open Spaces


Other Lives

About Men

From a Sheepherder's Notebook

Friends, Foes, and Working Animals

The Smooth Skull of Winter

On Water

Just Married

Rules of the Game

To Live in Two Worlds

A Storm, the Cornfield, and Elk

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