cover image Hole in the Sky: A Memoir

Hole in the Sky: A Memoir

William Kittredge. Alfred A. Knopf, $20 (238pp) ISBN 978-0-679-41166-6

The author's grandfather, William Kittredge, began in 1911 to amass what he thought would be paradise for himself and for his descendants: a cattle and farming empire of more than 15,000 acres in the Warner Valley of southeastern Oregon. He reshaped the land and his family to fit the dream. But within the span of three generations, this willed Garden of Eden, which once had drawn the powerful and famous, fell into disarray. The author recounts the destruction not only of the land but of his family and, especially, himself--his flights into alcohol and extramarital affairs. Kittredge ( Owning It All ) parlays vivid prose and storytelling talent to produce a powerful indictment of materialism and its capacity to undermine the spirit and dissolve human connections with the universe. (June)