Field Notes

by Barry Lopez

Hardcover, 1994

Call number




Alfred A. Knopf (1994), Edition: 1st, 159 pages


In this collection of twelve stories, Barry Lopez--the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams and one of our most admired writers--evokes the longing we feel for beauty in our relationships with one another, with the past, and with nature. An anthropologist traveling with an aboriginal people finds that, because of his aggressive desire to understand them, they remain always disturbingly unknowable. A successful financial consultant, failing to discover his roots in Africa, jogs from Connecticut to the Pacific Ocean in order to forge an indigenous connection to the American landscape. A paleontologist is haunted by visions of wildlife in a vacant lot in Manhattan. In simple, crystalline prose, Lopez evokes a sense of the magic and marvelous strangeness of the world, and a deep compassion for the human predicament.… (more)


User reviews

LibraryThing member Lace-Structures
Such unexpected content, I found the "Field Notes" would have benefitted from a real introduction-- not a segment of the volume with the label "introduction". I approached Field Notes as something to be consulted, checked, a legal document; I started reading it that way and was distracted by my
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expectations of fact, only to find out that its a series of short stories. Fiction. All my other reads of Lopez were not fiction--biography with lots of latitude, but not hallucinations. I shall read it all again, with more charity toward his imagination. One of the stories has stood the test of 20 intervening years. Fifty pages in, there is an imagined conversation between the male head of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and a significant woman, head of an environmental defense organization, who takes him to task for not having the courage to stand up to those whose way of making money is to extract resources from the earth without paying for it. She wants action; he finds excuses, calls himself practical, while she's characterized as a prostitute for living on someone else's income. He leans on the polls too much, and she disputes the polling information. With changes in characters' names, it could be 2016.
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LibraryThing member dele2451
Although a big fan of his nonfiction, this is the first fictional work I have read by Barry Lopez--it definitely won't be the last. A beautiful collection.
LibraryThing member stravinsky
The first 50 or so pages are fantastic and the rest isn't bad, either.

plus 1 star for the note on type




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