cover of book

Between Grass And Sky: Where I Live And Work
by Linda M. Hasselstrom
University of Nevada Press, 2005
Paper: 978-0-87417-627-8 | eISBN: 978-0-87417-552-3 | Cloth: 978-0-87417-522-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3558.A7257Z4636 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 818.5409


An important collection of personal essays from one of the most widely published American environmental writers addresses the effects of ranching on the environment. Acclaimed nature writer Linda M. Hasselstrom sees herself as a rancher who writes—a definition that shapes the tone and content of her writing. Now owner of the South Dakota cattle ranch where she grew up, Hasselstrom lives in intimate contact with the natural world. "Nature is to me both home and office. Nature is my boss, manager of the branch office—or ranch office—where I toil to convert native grass into meat. . . . If I want to keep my job as well as my home, I pay attention not only to Nature's orders, but to her moods and whims." She writes knowingly of the rancher's toil and of the intelligence and dignity of the wild and domesticated creatures that share the prairie grassland she calls home. As one who knows and loves the land, Hasselstrom appreciates the concerns of environmental activists and understands that responsible ranchers can play a role in nurturing a healthy rural ecosystem. Rich in detail, humor, and pathos, these essays offer wry commentary on the scope of human folly and the even greater human potential for community and empathy. "Only people who live in the country," she writes, "could form a relationship with nature so intimate that they feel concern for one lonely duck. People who live in cities . . . only glimpse nature from high windows or speeding vehicles. Even wilderness lovers who probe deeply are only passing through. We who live on the land truly live within the land, each of our lives only one among the other inhabitants of the place." These are essays to read with wonder and delight, to relish and ponder. Available in hardcover and paperback.

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