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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • A “lyrical” (Chicago Tribune) final work of nonfiction from the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams and Horizon, a literary icon whose writing, fieldwork, and mentorship inspired generations of writers and activists. 

“Mesmerizing . . . a master observer . . . whose insight and moral clarity have earned comparisons to Henry David Thoreau.”—The Wall Street Journal 

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Lit Hub, BookPage

An ardent steward of the land, fearless traveler, and unrivaled observer of nature and culture, Barry Lopez died after a long illness on Christmas Day 2020. The previous summer, a wildfire had consumed much of what was dear to him in his home place and the community around it—a tragic reminder of the climate change of which he’d long warned.

At once a cri de coeur and a memoir of both pain and wonder, this remarkable collection of essays adds indelibly to Lopez’s legacy, and includes previously unpublished works, some written in the months before his death. They unspool memories both personal and political, among them tender, sometimes painful stories of his childhood in New York City and California, reports from expeditions to study animals and sea life, recollections of travels to Antarctica and other extraordinary places on earth, and meditations on finding oneself amid vast, dramatic landscapes. He reflects on those who taught him, including Indigenous elders and scientific mentors who sharpened his eye for the natural world. We witness poignant returns from his travels to the sanctuary of his Oregon backyard, adjacent to the McKenzie River. And in prose of searing candor, he reckons with the cycle of life, including his own, and—as he has done throughout his career—with the dangers the earth and its people are facing.

With an introduction by Rebecca Solnit that speaks to Lopez’s keen attention to the world, including its spiritual dimensions, Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World opens our minds and souls to the importance of being wholly present for the beauty and complexity of life.

“This posthumously published collection of essays by nature writer Barry Lopez reveals an exceptional life and mind . . . While certainly a testament to his legacy and an ephemeral reprieve from his death in 2020, this book is more than a memorial: it offers a clear-eyed praxis of hope in what Lopez calls this ‘Era of Emergencies.’”—Scientific American 

©2022 Barry Lopez and Rebecca Solnit (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World

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personal and beautiful

I've been reading Barry Lopez's books for the last few years and this is my favorite so far. It's a deeply personal account of both his life and experiences traveling and learning. He is masterfully insightful about what it means to be a person in our point in time on Earth. Highly recommended.

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Highly recommend

Beautifully written, this book will stay with you in the best way. It’s simply extraordinary.

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Uneven

While there were many interesting parts, overall it felt disjointed and wandering to me.

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