Miracle Country: A Memoir


Product Details

$27.95  $25.71
Algonquin Books
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.6 X 1.2 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author

Kendra Atleework received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. An essay that formed the basis for a chapter of Miracle Country was selected for The Best American Essays 2015. She is the recipient of the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award and the AWP Intro Journals Project Award.


"A sensitive, thoughtful portrait of a part of California that few people see--or want to . . . A welcome update of classic works on California's arid backcountry by Mary Austin, Marc Reisner, and Reyner Banham."
--Kirkus Reviews

"[A] shimmering memoir . . . A bittersweet tribute to home and family in breathtaking prose that will appeal to lovers of memoirs and history, as well as anyone who enjoys beautifully crafted writing."
--Library Journal, starred review

"Kendra Atleework has written the most beautiful book about California I ever have read. The author locates the mystery and beauty of her life in the small town of Bishop, on the eastern slope of the Sierra, decades after Los Angeles has stolen the water. Her poet's prose, on every page, honors the dry land and breathes Nature to life."
--Richard Rodriguez, author of Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography

"Miracle Country is truly some kind of miracle, combining a moving family story with deft, deeply researched history. Written from the crucible of California's water wars, combined with a family story of love and loss in the high desert Eastern Sierra Nevada, Kendra Atleework's book joins the great American accounts of the West, a step beyond Joan Didion, moving from a beloved geography into a jeopardized future. Kendra Atleework is that rare writer--capable of heart-stopping memoir while performing a work of keen observation and serious history. A work of stunning acuity and candor, essential reading, already a classic narrative."
--Patricia Hampl, author of The Art of the Wasted Day

"A soaring homage to California and to the sparsely populated and drought-prone Eastern Sierra, where the author grew up. Blending family memoir and environmental history, Kendra Atleework conveys a fundamental truth: the places in which we live, live on--sometimes painfully--in us. This is a powerful, beautiful, and urgently important book."
--Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement

"This eloquent narrative is both a natural history of the author's home place, a seemingly arid region, and a loving portrait of an extraordinary family. Kendra Atleework has an uncanny wisdom and a deep sense of people and their origins, and she writes like an angel."
--Charles Baxter, author of There's Something I Want You to Do

"Can a book be both radiant with light and shadowy as midnight? Miracle Country can. I felt the thrill I once knew reading Annie Dillard for the first time. Kendra Atleework can really write. She flies with burning wings."
--Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels