From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters–human, animal, and natural–that have shaped an extraordinary life.
Taking us nearly from pole to pole–from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth–and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as “one of our finest writers,” gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica. As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity’s quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today’s ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys–to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe–and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world. Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern and frustration along with humanity and hope–a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America’s great thinkers and most humane voices.
“Barry Lopez is a straight-up magnificent writer. To read Horizon is to be transported to wondrous landscapes far beyond the pale, and thereby obtain an astounding perspective on our increasingly uncertain future. Lopez expresses faith that our species can avert annihilation by investing ‘more deeply in the philosopher’s cardinal virtues’: courage, justice, reverence, and compassion—virtues this book possesses in abundance.” —Jon Krakauer
“A celebration and investigation of the impulse to explore, Horizon is itself an exploration—of both the human and inhuman worlds. In his intensity, his clarity, and his capacity for wonder, Barry Lopez is unmatched.” —Elizabeth Kolbert
“A huge-hearted, wise and sorrowful book by the Philosopher-King of Gaia. A masterpiece.” —Joy Williams “Literary journalism, memoir and travelogue: so compelling it deserves its own genre.” —Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post
“Subtle, monumental, rich, spare: this opus by acclaimed writer Lopez contains and transcends contradictions. A reflection on journeys with researchers, into history, and across continents. . . Above all, he asks what, amid existential crises, we seek beyond the horizon’s line.” —Barbara Kiser, Nature
“Epic…by turns unsettling and sublime. A bracing masterpiece for a broken world—the crowning achievement of a legendary scribe, a writer whose eyes never stray from the long view. Lopez searches out other ways of knowing, and contemplates the meaning of horizons—places actual and metaphorical where the earth meets the sky, and knowledge meets speculation. This is Lopez’s most autobiographical work. But the Earth is Horizon’s true protagonist, and at stake is our collective future on it.” —Kate Harris, Outside
“Riveting, seductive, and beautifully written. I don’t know of any other writer who so mesmerizingly, so seemingly effortlessly, weaves together art, science and poetry—I found myself underlining sentences on every page. Barry Lopez is one of my literary heroes.” —Andrea Wulf “Nobody journeys like Barry Lopez. He’s humble, he’s ethical, he’s honest, he’s curious, he’s doubtful, he’s properly sad and he’s wild. He wakes us up to the worth and the mystery of the world. His great affection for humanity comes up from every patch of earth he visits. This is an epic book that goes from pole to pole, and yet manages to make a distinct ‘everywhere’ out of each little patch he visits. A glorious book, gloriously told.” —Colum McCann
About the Author
Barry Lopez is the author of two collections of essays; several story collections; Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist, and Crow and Weasel, a novella-length fable. He contributes regularly to both American and foreign journals and has traveled to more than 70 countries to conduct research. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundations and has been honored by a number of institutions for his literary, humanitarian, and environmental work. Additional information at barrylopez.com.