It is a voice that echoes off canyon walls, springs from the rush of rivers, thunders from the hooves of horses. It belongs to award-winner Mark Spragg, and it’s as passionate and umcompromising as the wilderness in northwest Wyoming in which he was born: the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower forty-eight states. Where Rivers Change Direction is a memoir of childhood spent on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming—with a family struggling against the elements and against themselves, and with the wry and wise cowboy who taught him life’s most important lessons.
As the young Spragg undergoes the inexorable rites of passage that forge the heart and soul of man, he channels Peter Matthiessen and the novels of Ernest Hemingway in his truly unforgettable illuminations of the heartfelt yearnings, the unexpected wisdom, and the irrevocable truths that follow in his wake.
Mark Spragg is the author of Where Rivers Change Direction, a memoir that won the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers award, and the novels The Fruit of Stone and An Unfinished Life, which was chosen by the Rocky Mountain News… More about Mark Spragg
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“A vivid portrait of life in the American outback.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“A discovery… what makes the book so affecting is that everything is approached with a boy’s generous and unwearied heart.” –Big Sky Journal
“The cruel, punishing sound of the wind; the rich, earthy smell of horses; the bitter joy of boy becoming man—Spragg’s spare but sensual essays will resonate not only with males and horse lovers, but also with anyone who treasures an examined life.” –Utne Reader
“A piercing voice from the heartland, this resonant autobiography weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self and nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer.” –Publishers Weekly
“This is a book that deserves many readers.” –Larry McMurty
“Here is a book for women to read to learn the hearts of men. Here is a book for men to read to curse what they have lost. This soulful book walks us to a place of restoration through the big wide open of Wyoming. Mark Spragg’s words, his stories are a fine example of blood writing, every sentence alive.” –Terry Tempest Williams
“Stirring, evocative, finely nuanced, gritty-marvelous!” –Gretel Ehrlich, author of The Solace of Open Spaces