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Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Irvine and Houston live on opposite sides of the continental divide separated by the San Juan Mountains. A sense of place has always played  an integral part in both of their writings. In late March (as a project for Orion magazine) they began writing letters back and forth about the pandemic. They started as admiring strangers and by the beginning of May they were sisters in arms. The pandemic brought into sharp focus just how much our patriarchal system has threatened the health and environment. Air Mail is a really powerful indictment of greed and power while still offering the possibility of hope in our relationships to each other and the environment.

— From Arsen's Recommendations


This book is fierce love in motion.

When the state of Colorado ordered its residents to shelter in place in response to the spread of coronavirus, writers Pam Houston and Amy Irvine--who had never met--began a correspondence based on their shared devotion to the rugged, windswept mountains that surround their homes, one on either side of the Continental Divide. As the numbers of infected and dead rose and the nation split dangerously over the crisis, Houston and Irvine found their letters to one another nearly as necessary as breath. Part tribute to wilderness, part indictment against tyranny and greed, Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place reveals the evolution of a friendship that galvanizes as it chronicles a strange new world.

About the Author

PAM HOUSTON is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me. She teaches in the Low Rez MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and cofounder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers. She lives at nine thousand feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. AMY IRVINE is a sixth-generation Utahn and longtime public lands activist. She is the author of Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, a response to Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire. Her memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and the Colorado Book Award. Irvine teaches in the MFA program of Southern New Hampshire University. She lives and writes in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781948814386
ISBN-10: 1948814382
Publisher: Torrey House Press
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020
Pages: 176
Language: English
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