Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place

Shelley Armitage (Author)

Product Details

$24.95  $22.95
University of Oklahoma Press
Publish Date
February 15, 2016
5.9 X 0.9 X 8.6 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Shelley Armitage is Professor Emerita of English and American Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her numerous publications include Bones Incandescent: The Pajarito Journals of Peggy Pond Church and John Held, Jr.: Illustrator of the Jazz Age.


"In Walking the Llano, Shelley Armitage does for the Staked Plains what John McPhee did for the Northern Plains in Rising from the Plains. She carefully mines the history, character, and geology of the Llano Estacado and combines it with a compelling personal narrative to create an account that flows with lyricism, authenticity, and wisdom. A splendid and clear-eyed book."--Nancy Curtis, coeditor of Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West
"With rare insights and in vivid language, Shelley Armitage introduces readers to the northern fringe of the Llano Estacado, the paleowaters of the Ogallala Aquifer, to Queen Anne's Lace, and monarch butterflies laying their eggs in milkweed. Armitage ruminates with an adulthood attachment on the changing landscape of her childhood home of Vega, Texas, and her family's farm, 'a tiny parenthesis within these vast and persistent prairielands.' There is poignancy in her account of her mother's tragic final years, and of her father, once steward of his land and its real farm of cattle and sheep and sea of grass, reduced in the end to a place of wind turbines, cell phone towers, and oil wells."--Dale L. Walker, editor of Westward: A Fictional History of the American West
"Once you've ambled into the lyrical, evocative pages of Shelley Armitage's Walking the Llano, the Plains will never seem plain again."--William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest
"Both an intensely lyrical and intimate scrapbook of familial history and a uniquely sublime travelogue of the American Southwestern landscape."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review and "The Best Books of 2016"
"Advanced poetics are at play in this work that is both a tribute to the land and a moving exploration of family ties. Beautiful language and wide-ranging musings make Walking the Llano a treasure."--Foreword Reviews
"Shelley Armitage's prose is as poetic as it is intelligent. She masterfully weaves together her personal story with the narrative of the Llano, and she does so in a way that begs the question of what lies ahead for the people and the land she loves. If literature is a study of the human heart--and it is--then Walking the Llano is a quiet masterpiece." --BK Loren, author of Theft: A Novel