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From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters – human, animal, and natural – that have shaped an extraordinary life.
Taking us nearly from pole to pole – from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth – and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as "one of our finest writers", gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.
As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys – to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe – and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern and frustration along with humanity and hope – a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America's great thinkers and most humane voices.
Barry Lopez is the author of two collections of essays; several story collections; Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist, and Crow and Weasel, a novella-length fable. He contributes regularly to both American and foreign journals and has travelled to more than 70 countries to conduct research. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundations and has been honoured by a number of institutions for his literary, humanitarian, and environmental work.
"Horizon is magnificent; a contemporary epic"
– Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland
"Subtle, monumental, rich, spare"
"Riveting, seductive, and beautifully written. I don't know of any other writer who so mesmerizingly, so seemingly effortlessly, weaves together art, science and poetry – I found myself underlining sentences on every page. Barry Lopez is one of my literary heroes."
– Andrea Wulf
"A celebration and investigation of the impulse to explore, Horizon is itself an exploration – of both the human and inhuman worlds. In his intensity, his clarity, and his capacity for wonder, Barry Lopez is unmatched."
– Elizabeth Kolbert
"Nobody journeys like Barry Lopez. He's humble, he's ethical, he's honest, he's curious, he's doubtful, he's properly sad and he's wild. He wakes us up to the worth and the mystery of the world. His great affection for humanity comes up from every patch of earth he visits. This is an epic book that goes from pole to pole, and yet manages to make a distinct 'everywhere' out of each little patch he visits. A glorious book, gloriously told."
– Colum McCann
"Barry Lopez brings the world alive like no other writer. His writing evokes diverse peoples and places with great humanity and humility. Horizon deserves to become a modern classic"
– Sir Ranulph Fiennes
"A visionary masterpiece, a towering monument to a life dedicated to the whole of the world and everything in it"
– Neil Ansell, author of The Last Wilderness
"The world is vast, and so are the heart and the curiosity of Barry Lopez. His voice is incomparable and necessary. No one else alive, to my knowledge, thinks so carefully about the moral dimensions of landscape."
– David Quammen
"Barry Lopez is a straight-up magnificent writer. To read Horizon is to be transported to wondrous landscapes far beyond the pale, and thereby obtain an astounding perspective on our increasingly uncertain future. Lopez expresses faith that our species can avert annihilationby investing 'more deeply in the philosopher's cardinal virtues': courage, justice, reverence, and compassion – virtues this book possesses in abundance."
– Jon Krakauer
"No one has worked harder to make sense of our present civilization than Barry Lopez, and in these chronicles we get to share the travels that helped shape his extraordinary mind and heart. A great gift to us all."
– Bill McKibben
"[The] reality of quite how badly Homo sapiens have failed in their stewardship of the planet and its occupants runs throughout the whole book; a doomy steam just below the surface of the thoughtful prose [...] It's a big book full of bigger ideas"
– Tom Hawker, Wanderlust, Book of the month