Field Notes: Stories

Barry Holstun Lopez, Author Alfred A. Knopf $20 (159p) ISBN 978-0-679-43453-5

This is the third and apparently final book in a trilogy of story collections by the justly admired and National Book Award-winning author (the earlier volumes are Desert Notes and River Notes). Lopez's stories have in common an utterly fresh, pellucid style: He writes about people and animals in nature in a way that is profound but never cloying, and with a sense of elegaic wonder. There are stories in the present volume that Lopez has not surpassed: ``The Negro in the Kitchen,'' a marvelous sketch of the impact of utter liberation; ``Sonora,'' a subtle study of the relationship of landscape and sexuality; ``Empira's Tapestry,'' a deeply touching story of an overlooked woman of great gifts; and ``Conversation,'' a tour de force in which a passionate wildlife advocate tries to break through the ``practical'' shell of a well-meaning official who thinks he has his priorities straight. All the stories contain moments of sheer magic, all reflect Lopez's abiding passion for the beauty and mystery of the earth and its creatures. (Sept.)
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