Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey was born in Home, Pennsylvania in 1927. In 1944, at the age of 17, Abbey set out to explore the American Southwest, bumming around the country by hitchhiking and hopping freight trains. It was during this time that Abbey developed a love of the desert, which would shape his life and his art for the next forty years. After a brief stint in the military, Abbey completed his education at the University of New Mexico and later, at the University of Edinburgh. He took employment as a park ranger and fire lookout at several different National Parks throughout his life, experiences from which he drew for his many books. Abbey died at his home in Oracle, Arizona in 1989.

Featured Books By Author

Desert Solitaire

First published in 1968, Desert Solitaire is one of Edward Abbey’s most critically acclaimed works and marks his first foray into the world of nonfiction writing. Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man’s quest to experience nature in its purest form.

Through prose that is by turns passionate and poetic, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness and the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world as well as his own internal struggle with morality. As the world continues its rapid development, Abbey’s cry to maintain the natural beauty of the West remains just as relevant today as when this book was written.

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A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Finished two weeks before his death, and published posthumously, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness is a collection of aphorism and common sense wisdom filled with sarcastic, witty, and inspirational thoughts on the things Edward Abbey loved most, especially nature and freedom.
Abbey chose each passage himself from his own journals as well as from his previous writings. In his own words, some of the notes "may be unconscious plagiarisms from the great and dead (never steal from the living and mediocre)."

In Abbey’s own style that is sometimes curmudgeonly, sometimes sarcastic, and often witty, he talks about nearly everything including politics, writing, sex, and sports. But as an uncompromising environmentalist, Abbey shines when talking about nature and the environment.

Abbey’s last wish was to be buried in an unmarked grave somewhere out in the vast desert he loved so much. A Voice Crying in the Wilderness is an enduring signal about that desert from one of the singular American thinkers of our times.

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The Best of Edward Abbey

Here is the only collection of writings compiled by Abbey himself, who writes in his own words, "to present what I think is both the best and most representative of my writing--so far." Included in this collection are generous selections of his best novels, such as The Brave Cowboy, Black Sun, and his classic The Monkey Wrench Gang, as well as many of his other, more expressive and acerbic essays.

To add further interest, Abbey’s own sketches are scattered throughout the text. This rich offering of fiction and prose is a testament to a singular American author, and offers an opportunity to become better acquainted with his abundant body of work.

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Edward Abbey