The Best of Edward Abbey by Edward Abbey

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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.


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.

About Edward Abbey

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Edward Abbey was born January 29, 1927 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Home. After military service in Naples, Italy, from 1945-47, he enrolled in Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a year before traveling to the West. He fell in love with the desert Southwest and eventually attended the University of New Mexico, where he obtained both graduate and post-graduate degrees. Abbey was a Fulbright Fellow from 1951-52. Abbey was an anarchist and a radical environmentalist; these positions are reflected in his writings. His novel Fire on the Mountain won the Western Heritage Award for Best Novel in 1963. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, considered by many to be his best work, is nonfiction that reflects Abbey's love for the American Southwest and draws on his experiences as a park ranger. Among his best-known works are The Brave Cowboy (1956), The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975), and The Fool's Progress (1988). In 1966 The Brave Cowboy was made into a movie titled Lonely Are the Brave, starring Kirk Douglas. Two collections of essays have been published since his death in 1989: Confessions of a Barbarian in 1994 and The Serpents of Paradise the following year. In 1987, Abbey was offered the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, but he declined. Abbey died in March 1989, near Tucson, Arizona, from complications following surgery. He did not want a traditional burial but rather requested to be buried in the Arizona desert, where he could nourish the earth which had been the subject of so many of his works.
Published August 21, 2011 by RosettaBooks. 458 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Fiction

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