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A SONG FOR THE RIVER

by Philip Connors
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The river that runs through the wilderness opens his heart: the mountains burn, friends die, and green shoots sprout from the ashes.

Product Details

10-digit ISBN1-941026-90-8
13-digit ISBN978-1-941026-90-8
FormatHardback
LanguageEnglish
Also Available InPaperback
Page Count256
Publication DateSeptember 18, 2018
Starred Review1 Stars - see reviews
RightsAll Rights Available
The Gila River and Wilderness are the heart and soul of A Song for the River. Every summer since 2002, Connors has been perched in a tower 50 feet above the Gila Wilderness, watching for fire. His first book, Fire Season (30,000 sold), recounted the deep lessons learned about mountains, wilderness, fire, and solitude. A Song for the River, its sequel, updates and deepens the story: the mountain he loves goes up in flames; a lookout on another mountain whom he has come to love as brother dies in a freak accident; and three high school students he admires die tragically in an airplane crash while researching the wilderness and the wild river they wish to save. Connors channels their voices in a praise song of great urgency and makes a plea to save a vital piece of our natural and cultural heritage: the wild Gila River, whose waters are threatened by a potential dam.
Publishers Weekly 1 Stars
"This powerful work belongs with the classics of the nature writing genre and is equally important as a rumination on living and dying."
- August 1, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Kirkus Reviews
"A heartfelt, well-written volume of vignettes and reflections of a man who—much like his long lineage of fire lookout forebears—gladly chooses to escape civilization for the natural world."
- July 1, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Foreward Reviews
"Love for the wilderness is compellingly conveyed. In moving snapshots of those touched by the Gila, A Song for the River shows the myriad ways that naturalists and nature touches others."
- June 5, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Booklist Online
“[Philip] Connors’ wonderfully digressive musings offer thoughtful glimpses into the more sociable aspects of fire-watching, such as they are, and expresses longing for a bygone era of nature conservation.”
- Jonathan Fullmer, July 18, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Pages of Julia
“This book is essential.”
- June 8, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
New Mexico Magazine
"A Song for the River blends a poetic voice with a naturalist’s knowledge and a journalist’s determination to document continued threats to the Gila River and its massive surrounding acreage, which became the nation’s original wilderness area in 1924."
- August 5, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
“Philip Connors’ A Song for the River is nothing short of spectacular. With deep, clear-eyed honesty, Connors weaves the tragic story of friends gone too soon within the tale of a region, its haunting wilderness, and a meandering river. He sets out on a quest for answers, only to remind us of our common humanity. Beautifully nuanced and written in masterful prose, this is a necessary read.”
—Alfredo Corchado, Mexico Border correspondent, The Dallas Morning News, author of Midnight in Mexico
- March 1, 2018 
“Everything that is absent in the current political crises of this nation is abundantly present in Philip Connors’ A Song for the River: humility, quietude, forgiveness, and gratitude. His writing is pure, exact, compassionate, and often elegaic...I loved this book.”
—Benjamin Alire Sáenz, winner of the PEN/Faulkner for Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club
- April 15, 2018 
“In the literary tradition of Gary Snyder and Edward Abbey, Philip Connors climbs down from his fire lookout to tell his story of love and loss along the sacred waters of the Gila River, the heart of the Gila Wilderness, a place of rock and ruins, juniper and pine. The book was a page-turner for me, lyrically paced and a real pleasure to read.”
—Doug Peacock, legendary naturalist, protector of wilderness and writer
- May 1, 2018 
Click here to view all the reviews

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