cover image O California!

O California!

Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $39.95 (271pp) ISBN 978-0-938491-20-0

Displaying California's ``vast geographic diversity, and the variety of ways in which its writers and artists responded to the challenge of its landscape,'' this anthology--a travel book as much as a history--is organized by region in a text that includes poems, excerpts from novels, pioneer journals and letters of travelers. ``We were new creatures, born again, and truly not until this time were we fairly conscious that we were born at all,'' noted John Muir of his exploration of the Santa Clara Valley in 1868. He and writers Jack London, John Steinbeck, Frank Norris, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robinson Jeffers show more range than the almost uniformly euphoric and pastoral 100 color landscapes included here by artists such as William Keith ( Donner Pass , 1890) and Gordon Coutts ( Desert Wash , 19l3). Vincent is director of Bedford Arts, Mills a former director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. (Nov.)