intimate look at the life of literary cult
figure Ed Abbey by his best friend.
No writer has had a greater influence on the American West than Edward
Abbey (1927-1989), author of twenty-one books of fiction and nonfiction. This
long-awaited biographical memoir by one of Abbey's closest friends is a
tribute to the gadfly anarchist who popularized environmental activism in his
novel The Monkey Wrench Gang and articulated the spirit of the arid West in
Desert Solitaire and scores of other essays and articles. In the course of a
twenty-year friendship Ed Abbey and Jack Loeffler shared hundreds of
campfires, hiked thousands of miles, and talked endlessly about the meaning of
life. To read Loeffler's account of his best pal's life and work is to join in
their friendship. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Abbey came west to attend
the University of New Mexico on the G.I. Bill. His natural inclination toward
anarchism led him to study philosophy, but after earning an M.A. he rejected
academic life and worked off and on for years as a backcountry ranger and fire
lookout around the Southwest. His 1956 novel The Brave Cowboy launched his
literary career, and by the 1970s he was recognized as an important, uniquely
American voice. Abbey used his talents to protest against the mining and
development of the American West. By the time of his death he had become an
idol to environmentalists, writers, and free spirits all over the West.
Jack Loeffler is a writer, ethnomusicologist, and radio
producer in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His La Música de los Viejitos is also
available from UNM Press.
6.125 x 9.25 inches 332 pages, 43 halftones
Hardcover: 0-8263-2387-1 $24.95
"Ed Abbey and Jack Loeffler were like Don Quijote and Sancho Panza.
Loeffler delivers his friend, warts and all, on a platter full of reverence
and irreverence and carefully researched factual information, interspersed
with hearty laughter and much serious consideration of all life's Great
Questions. Jack's story elucidates and demythifies the Abbey legend, giving us
powerful flesh and blood instead." -John Nichols.