Melissa A. Sevigny, Mythical River: Chasing the Mirage of New Water in the American Southwest. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2016. 272 pp. Paper, $27.50. Mythical River received the 2015 Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, âdevoted to creative nonfiction work about the desert,â as the award website indicates. Sevigny is in good company here; previous recipients include the highly acclaimed writers Craig Childs and Amy Irvine. Well-deserving of the award, Sevignyâs book offers an appealing blend of personal narrative, environmental ethics, scientific research, and environmental history, all crafted into a volume Meloy herself would have been proud to have written. Mythical River explores the water issues facing the Colorado Basin while celebrating nature and culture, much as Meloy did so memorably over the course of a career that included such gems as The Anthropology of Turquoise (2002), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Sevigny structures Mythical River around the illusion of water, as manifested in the idea of the RÃo de San Buenaventuraâa river eighteenth-century Spanish explorers believed flowed from the edge of the Rocky Mountains, from what is now the western edge of Dinosaur National Monument, west across the Great Basin to the Pacific Ocean. As
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Aug 16, 2017
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