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Like many before her, poet Gretel Ehrlich discovered the therapeutic qualities of the West. In , a time of personal crisis, she moved from the East to a small. Table Of Contents. The Solace Of Open SpacesPreface. The Solace of Open Spaces. Obituary. Other Lives. About Men. From a Sheepherder’s. Like few writers I’ve ever read, Gretel captured something about Wyoming that I’ ve always struggled to put into words. She suggests that the.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you te to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A stunning collection of personal observations that uses images of the American West to probe larger concerns in lyrical, evocative prose that is a true celebration of the region. Paperbackpages.

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Published Xpaces 2nd by Penguin Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Solace of Open Spacesplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Solace of Open Spaces. Lists with This Book.

The Solace of Open Spaces: Gretel Ehrlich: : Books

Apr 19, Jenny Reading Envy rated it it was amazing Shelves: When I requested this title in NetGalley, I did not realize it was an older book of essays coming up for a reprinting.

I actually have another book from the author on my “around the world” shelves at home – This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland. So she was on my vague periphery, but I was very happy to have had a chance to read this book, even if it isn’t new. In the late s, Ehrlich travels to Wyoming on a documentary assignment. Her then-lover ends up dying, and apaces just stays and sta When I requested this title in NetGalley, I did not realize it was an older book of essays coming up eyrlich a reprinting.

Her then-lover ends up so,ace, and she just stays and stays. This book collects her shrlich about the wide-open, the west, the prairie, and the people who live there. I understand that she first wrote these as journal entries, then as letters, and eventually revised them into a publishable form.

The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich | : Books

I loved her insight into the sometimes elusive ranchers, sheepherders, farmhands, and cowboys. I loved her insight into herself.

I loved her attention to details in nature, her ability to stop, slow down, and pay attention. I didn’t include any of those quotes here since technically I have a review copy, but may return to this space once it is back out. View all 4 comments. Mar 29, Dan rated it really liked it. A beautiful book with a great deal of thought put into words. The book was written in and still feels current. The author has been fairly compared to Annie Dillard and Thoreau and at times her use of prose is pure poetry.


She indicated it took her more than five years to write the pages that comprise the book.

There are four chapters in this book that I fell in love with: One of my favorite paragraphs from that last chapter: When the leaves are finally corrupted by frost they rain down into themselves until the tree, disowning itself, goes bald. All through autumn we hear a double voice: The paradox is exquisite.

Jun 11, Jim Ament rated it it was amazing Shelves: The discovery merely reflects my ignorance I found the book in a used book store. The title alone intrigued me—one who thinks that soul nurturing places, solitude and silence are the final luxuries.

And her essays are about Wyoming, my neighbor state and our least populated one—to me, a feature, not a bug. I expect to read more of Ehrlich.

What I had lost at least for a while was my appetite for the life I had left: It had occurred to me that comfort was only ehrllch disguise for discomfort, reference points, a disguise for what will always change For the first time Oppen was able to take up residence on earth with no alibis, no self-promoting schemes.

In her first essay, she writes of John, a sheep man who ope her to work—extended hours of it, which she says woke her up: The arid country was a clean slate. Its absolute indifference steadied me Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are The solitude in which westerners live makes them quiet Sentence structure is shortened. Descriptive words are dropped, even verbs There is no vocabulary for the subject of feelings. The silence is profound. Instead of talking, we seem to share one eye.

Keenly observed, the world is transformed. The landscape is engorged with detail, every movement on it chillingly sharp. The air between people is charged. Days ggretel, bathed in their own music. Nights become hallucinatory; dreams, prescient. As soon as we gregel our hands on it, the freedom we thought it represented is quickly gone. Traditionally, at least, ranch life has gone against materialism and has stood for the small achievements of yretel human conjoined with the animal, and the simpler pleasures The toughness I was learning was not a martyred doggedness, a dumb heroism, but the art of accommodation.

She explains all this, and tells us about men, something other than the romanticized Marlboro man version: Animals hold us to what is present: She writes about water, or the lack thereof: She gets married, buys a ranch, tells us about the National Finals Rodeo, then held in Oklahoma City.


Sep 01, Mark rated it really liked it. We are often like rivers: She was also grieving over the death of her beloved partner.

She became entranced by this wild and unruly place and decided to stay. These essays describe the wonder and the beauty that she discovered during her time there and she ended up purchasing an old, ramshackle ranch, that she fell in love with.

Ehrlich is no city slicker or shrinking violet. She became a sheepherder and a cowboy, living in incredibly harsh conditions. One, tough scrappy woman. She even survives a lightning strike. She is also a very gifted writer. Fans of Terry Tempest Williams will love this excellent collection. This author is completely new to me but I think she deserves much more attention.

Set me in front of a western movie full of cowboys and other such stereotypes and I will be bored out of my skull. But, give me a book full of stories about real people in the real American West and I’m hooked. I’ve never understood it, myself, especially when it comes to Ralph Moody’s books Whi Set me in front of a western movie full of cowboys and other such stereotypes and I will be bored out of my skull.

And all this is told by Gretel Ehrlich in gorgeous prose.

The Solace of Open Spaces Summary & Study Guide

This book was immensely satisfying to me; that is all. Sep 02, Ron rated it really liked it. Well written story of personal discovery. Portrayal of Wyoming is very crisp. It is a place of grand horizons, in which one’s own place is clear. The American West is a great place for inspiration. A place where physical and spiritual survival are solacee. Nov 27, Jamie rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 31, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Solace of Open Spacesby Gretel Ehrlich, is a beautiful little book that I happened upon in the sale bin at a used book store.

In the late s, Ehrlich traveled gretsl Wyoming on assignment for her work, and stayed because it thee her in in her grief upon losing her loved one to cancer. She lived there for many years, living and working on ranches, and this book is a collection of essays describing her time there and the feeling of living there.