Traplines by John Rember
Coming Home to Sawtooth Valley

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In 1987, John Rember returned home to Sawtooth Valley, where he had been brought up. He returned out of a homing instinct: the same forty acres that had sustained his family’s horses had sustained a vision of a place where he belonged in the world, a life where he could get up in the morning, step out the door, and catch dinner from the Salmon River. But to his surprise, he found that what was once familiar was now unfamiliar. Everything might have looked the same to the horses that spring, but to Rember this was no longer home.

In Traplines, Rember recounts his experiences of growing up in a time when the fish were wild in the rivers, horses were brought into the valley each spring from their winter pasture, and electric light still seemed magical. Today those same experiences no longer seem to possess the authenticity they once did. In his journey home, Rember discovers how the West, both as a place in which to live and as a terrain of the imagination, has been transformed. And he wonders whether his recollections of what once was prevent him from understanding his past and appreciating what he found when he returned home. In Traplines, Rember excavates the hidden desires that color memory and shows us how, once revealed, they can allow us to understand anew the stories we tell ourselves.

About John Rember

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John Rember was born in Sun Valley, Idaho, and grew up in the nearby Sawtooth Valley. He was educated at Harvard and the University of Montana. Rember teaches English at Albertson College in Caldwell, Idaho, and he is the author of two previous books, Coyote in the Mountains and Cheerleaders from Gomorrah.From the Hardcover edition.
Published July 1, 2009 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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From these and other figures fine and flawed, Rember draws moral lessons rendered in nicely epigrammatic, often humorous turns: “I had learned that the magic can fall out of things and that you can be involved in rites of passage that turn out to be all about somebody else.” “Bliss, Idaho, is jus...

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Publishers Weekly

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After nearly 30 years away, Rember, a Harvard-educated English professor at Idaho's Albertson College and holder of various odd jobs, returns to his backwoods roots in Stanley, Idaho.

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Deseret News

At first glance, "Traplines" looks to be nothing more than memoirs of someone returning to his or her hometown after a long absence.

Sep 12 2003 | Read Full Review of Traplines: Coming Home to Saw...

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