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A Song for the River

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In his debut, Fire Season (2011), Connors recounted his career as a fire lookout in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness. His latest, as much a collection of interrelated personal essays as a memoir, serves as a companion to his first, but this time Connors turns his binoculars toward friendship, aging, death, and the mighty Gila River. Still healing from hip surgery, Connors takes his new wife into the wilderness, where he reflects on the untimely death of a gifted high-school girl who died while studying wildfires, and whose memory haunts the book. In “Birthday for the Next Forest,” he witnesses a lightning strike that becomes a massive forest fire and considers the controversial history of “prescribed natural fires.” “A Hummingbird’s Kiss” pays homage to his late friend and fellow lookout, John, who helped search for three high-schoolers involved in a plane accident, and whose ashes Connors releases into the Gila River. 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

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