Edward Abbey spent most of his life in his beloved American southwest, working various jobs with the National Park Service and United States Forest Service while learning the craft of writing. His fourth book, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, was published 50 years ago and blended journal writings from two seasons working as a ranger at Arches National Monument in the late 1950’s.
We honor the lasting influence of Desert Solitaire on three generations of readers, commemorated here through words and film with friends of Edward Abbey's. And we observe 50 years of the most influential environmental text of the American southwest with the publication of three new and important literary works:
- A suite of four artistic signed letterpress broadsides featuring the words of Amy Irvine, Wendell Berry, Doug Peacock, and Terry Tempest Williams, with artwork by Claire Taylor.
- The book Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, by Amy Irvine, who looks at the inspiration of Desert Solitaire through the lens of 50 years of desert love and a contemporary, feminist vision. This powerful book will make us squirm a little, but should be required reading for anyone who cares about Abbey’s country.
- A facsimile edition of Edward Abbey’s first typed draft of Desert Solitaire, filled with hundreds of manuscript changes in Ed’s hand--a document never before published.
Back of Beyond Books, Ken Sanders Rare Books, and Torrey House Press have teamed up for this ambitious publications program, and with your backing, we will will bring these new works to the page this fall.
All three publication pieces are in development with final production and printing dependent on successfully raising funds through this campaign.
Be part of the celebration! With your tax-deductible contribution, you can insure that Ed’s legacy lives on for another fifty years. Make Ed proud! You can be a part of this homage to Desert Solitaire by helping us complete this publications program.
What You Get
Postcards! Three Ed Abbey postcards reproduced from a set of never before seen tintype photographs depicting Ed's personal belongings including his hat, boots, watch, typewriter and infamous T.V. You get all three! Tintype photographs courtesy of Sallie Hodges, Rukkus Studio, Moab, Utah.
Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness by Amy Irvine looking at Desert Solitaire 50 years later. What has changed, what hasn't and why we still care. Published by Back of Beyond Books and Torrey House Press.
First Edition Copy of One Life at a Time Warhorse, gadfly, storyteller, naturalist--there is no simple category to contain the vibrant prose voice of Edward Abbey. And this snappy collection of essays displays the author of Desert Solitaire and The Monkey-Wrench Gang at the height of his run as our favorite curmudgeon. This hardback 1st Edition is long out of print and now a collector's item.
Original 4X5 Tintype photographs of Ed's personal belongings. Tintype photographs courtesy of Sallie Hodges, Rukkus Studio, Moab, Utah.
Suite of Four Signed Artistic Letterpress Broadsides (Artistic Poster) featuring original words of Amy Irvine, Wendell Berry, Doug Peacock, and Terry Tempest Williams and original artwork by Claire Taylor. Letterpress printing by Tryst Press. Only 126 sets (100 numbered sets and 26 lettered sets) will be printed. This reward will be for a suite of the four numbered broadsides.
Facsimile Edition of Desert Solitaire. Enjoy owning the facsimile edition of Edward Abbey's first typed draft of Desert Solitaire, filled with hundreds of manuscript changes in Ed's hand--a document never before published. Only 50 sets will be printed and enclosed in a custom clamshell box. Manuscript courtesy of Clarke Abbey and University of Arizona Special Collections.
Risks and challenges
The DS50 Publications Program, to a large extent, is uncharted territory for a small independent book store such as Back of Beyond Books. We know how to sell books really well, yet we've not published material similar to what we are now doing. To that end, we have teamed up with two veterans in the industry, Torrey House Press and Ken Sanders Rare Books to successfully complete this project.
All three publication pieces are in development pending fundraising through this campaign.
Our other challenge is the mere idea of reaching out to you for assistance. While crowd-sourcing is not new, we have never tried it and feel a little uncomfortable asking for funds. But, without your support, we could not further the legacy of Edward Abbey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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