Gretel Ehrlich with Frances McCue
One of the very first writers to appear at Elliott Bay, Gretel Ehrlich first came to read at the bookstore in 1985. That was when her book, The Solace of Open Spaces, landed like a sudden storm on the high plains, a book of deep insight, impact, and literary power. We knew that book would be ‘around,’ even if we didn’t know if we - still in the early stages of things - would be. Thirty-five years later, many books by Gretel Ehrlich later, The Solace of Open Spaces is still here, going into people’s hands. And Gretel Ehrlich herself is here once again, albeit virtually, with an extraordinary new book that circles back to that touchstone first book. Unsolaced: Along the Way To All That Is (Viking) chronicles the elements, human and otherwise, that have helped shape her life, wonder, understanding, compassion. Human damage to the planet - climate, land, everything - are at the heart of what she ruminates upon. Through such books as Facing the Wave, The Future of Ice, Heart Mountain, This Cold Heaven, A Match to the Heart, Islands, the Universe, Home, she has been doing this in many parts of the world - as well as in the heart.
“Gripping . . . Ehrlich chronicles with enthralling precision the to-the-brink physicality of hard work and daring expeditions and the meditative states nature summons . . . Writing with fire and ice of beauty, risk, and devastation, Ehrlich shares wonder, wisdom, candor, and concern to soul-ringing effect.”—Booklist.
“Gretel Ehrlich’s account of her journeys in far flung parts of the natural world have the emotional intensity and scrupulous detail of someone looking for home. Compelled to share her hopes for success, the reader will discover a thrilling, informative, hard won book.”—Thomas McGuane.
Joining her in conversation this evening is Seattle writer, University of Washington professor, former Hugo House director Frances McCue. Her recent books include Timber Curtain and The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs.