The Last Canyon by John Vernon

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“Both gritty and sublime” (Seattle Times), The Last Canyon tells the story of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 voyage of exploration through the Grand Canyon, the last great expedition of discovery in United States history. In this vivid novel, John Vernon intertwines two stories – that of Powell and his crew, and that of a band of Paiute Indians, known as the Shivwits, who lived on the north rim of the canyon. As the novel moves inexorably toward a violent encounter between the two groups, Vernon deftly leads us into perilous geographical and emotional territory. Powell’s adventure is a story of triumph, hardship, bravery, and ultimate loss.

About John Vernon

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John Vernon is the author of the novels La Salle, Lindbergh's Son, Peter Doyle, and All for Love: Baby Doe and Silver Dollar. The recipient of two NEA fellowships, he teaches at SUNY Binghamton. His work has been published in Harper's Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, and The Nation. The author currently resides in Vestal, New York.
Published September 26, 2002 by Mariner Books. 353 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Westerns. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Vernon juxtaposes the story of Powell’s embattled voyage against that of a tribe of Paiute Indians on a “dangerous hunt” and subsequent trek undertaken to evade their enemies the Navajo and strengthen their own numbers—a plan that puts them on a collision course with the white explorers.

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The New York Times

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John Vernon's novel follows John Wesley Powell through the Grand Canyon.

Nov 11 2001 | Read Full Review of The Last Canyon

Publishers Weekly

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With nine men in four boats, Powell began a saga of discovery that took 100 days, covered 1,000 miles and cost the lives of a third of his men.

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The story of their journey alternates with Powell's until the two paths intersect.The Last Canyon is a rousing story of adventure and exploration.

Mar 16 2014 | Read Full Review of The Last Canyon

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