Desert Solitaire Archive
January 2018 marked fifty years since Edward Abbey published his paean to America’s southwestern deserts. In the wake of this anniversary, numerous tributes to Abbey and his books appeared, but few, if any, of these articles looked at Abbey’s work through a feminist lens.
Fifty years ago, Edward Abbey could already see the trampling of industry on the fragile desert country he had grown to love during his time as a ranger in what is now Arches National Park.
There’s a passage in Donna Tartt’s celebrated The Goldfinch, almost a third of the way in, where our protagonist Theo Decker first touches down in Las Vegas. He is arriving for the first time in the West, and Tartt and her literary eye are too.