Southwestern Homelands

(National Geographic Directions)

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For part of each of the last twenty years, much-loved essayist and fiction writer William Kittredge has ventured to the storied desert landscape and around Arizona and immersed himself in the region's wide-ranging wonders and idiosyncrasies. In th

For part of each of the last twenty years, much-loved essayist and fiction writer William Kittredge has ventured to the storied desert landscape and around Arizona and immersed himself in the region's wide-ranging wonders and idiosyncrasies. In the exhilarating Southwestern Homelands, Kittredge brings all this experience to bear as he takes us on a rewarding tour of the territory that runs from Santa Fe to Yuma, and from the Grand Canyon on south through Phoenix and Tucson to Nogales. It is a region where urban sprawl abuts desert expanse, where Native American pueblos compete for space with agribusiness cotton plantations, and where semi-defunct mining towns slowly give way to new-age hippie gardening and crafts enclaves.

As part-time resident and full-time observer, William Kittredge acquaints us with one of the country's most vital and perpetually evolving regions. Populated with die-hard desert rats on the banks of the Colorado, theoretical physicists in Albuquerque, Hopi mothers and their daughters, and renegade punk-rock kids sleeping in the streets, Southwestern Homelands is a book as much about the legacies of a territory's colorful past as it is about the alternately exciting and daunting complexities of its immediate future.

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