A loving but clear-eyed portrait in miniature of the vanishing rural West
At the outset of Gregory Martin's affecting memoir, only thirty-three people still live in Mountain City in remote northeastern Nevada; by the end of the book there are thirty-one, and none of them are children. The town's heyday is long past, its abandoned mines testimony to the cycle of promise, exploitation, abandonment, and attrition that has been the repeated story of the West.
Yet the comings and goings at Tremewan's, the general store Martin's family has run for more than forty years, make the town seem like a more vibrant place than many small cities. The store is a hub for a stoic but close-knit community that includes salty widows, Native Americans from a reservation nearby, and a number of Martin's deeply idiosyncratic relatives, who are descendants of the Basque sheepherders who settled in the region during the nineteenth century. It is also the lens through which Martin observes them as they persist in a difficult but rewarding existence. Without pity or regret, Martin celebrates the large and small dramas of their lives and their stubborn attachment to a place that seems likely to disappear in his lifetime.
About Gregory Martin
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Published June 2, 2000
by North Point Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Westerns, Literature & Fiction.