From the Texas panhandle to the mountains of Arizona, Amy Auker has lived the cowboy life—as wife, as mother, as cook, as ranch hand, as writer. In fine-grained detail she captures the prairie light, the traffic on small farm-to-market roads, the vacant stillness of shipping pens when fall works are over. But she also captures the unmistakable westernness of the people and creatures around her: the son who must get back on the horse that just bucked him off, the husband who gives great gifts, the animals whose names and temperaments are as recognizable as family. Auker understands those who live in the sway of nature’s moods far off the main roads, and she commends them to us in luminous prose backlit by her own hard-earned experience.
Winner of the 2012 WILLA for creative non-fiction, Foreword Book Reviews' Book of the Year for essays, and finalist in the AZ/NM Book Awards.
"Amy Hale Auker's prose is beautiful and her voice is distinctly original and authentic. She addresses the tiny moments, events, and the other bits and pieces of a salt-of-the-earth lifestyle, and frames them in an often poignant turn of phrase and perspective that will put a finger on that siren's call that keeps so many ranchers, cowboys, and other rugged sorts so far away from the interstates and often hidden and forgotten in a unique piece of rural Americana. Although written in an essay style that often approaches a memoir, the book is more than that. And it's not all the about the trials and sacrifices tough but vulnerable women make within ranching country. It's about the human condition - all the loving and laughing and crying and dying under the scope of a big, wide-open country painted with a dusty brush." Brett Cogburn, author
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