The Red Caddy: Into The Unknown With Edward Abbey

byCharles BowdenForeword byLuis Alberto Urrea

September 8, 2020|
The Red Caddy: Into The Unknown With Edward Abbey by Charles Bowden
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A passionate advocate for preserving wilderness and fighting the bureaucratic and business forces that would destroy it, Edward Abbey (1927–1989) wrote fierce, polemical books such as Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang that continue to inspire environmental activists. In this eloquent memoir, his friend and fellow desert rat Charles Bowden reflects on Abbey the man and the writer, offering up thought-provoking, contrarian views of the writing life, literary reputations, and the perverse need of critics to sum up “what he really meant and whether any of it was truly up to snuff.”

The Red Caddy is the first literary biography of Abbey in a generation. Refusing to turn him into a desert guru, Bowden instead recalls the wild man in a red Cadillac convertible for whom liberty was life. He describes how Desert Solitaire paradoxically “launched thousands of maniacs into the empty ground” that Abbey wanted to protect, while sealing his literary reputation and overshadowing the novels that Abbey considered his best books. Bowden also skewers the cottage industry that has grown up around Abbey’s writing, smoothing off its rougher (racist, sexist) edges while seeking “anecdotes, little intimacies . . . pieces of the True Beer Can or True Old Pickup Truck.” Asserting that the real essence of Abbey will always remain unknown and unknowable, The Red Caddy still catches gleams of “the fire that from time to time causes a life to become a conflagration.”

Author of many acclaimed books about the American Southwest and US-Mexico border issues, Charles Bowden (1945–2014) was a contributing editor for GQ, Harper’s, Esquire, and Mother Jones and also wrote for the New York Times Book Review, High Country News, and Aperture. His honors included a PEN First Amendment Award, Lann...
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Title:The Red Caddy: Into The Unknown With Edward Abbey
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:120 pages, 8 X 5.2 X 0.4 in
Shipping dimensions:120 pages, 8 X 5.2 X 0.4 in
Published:September 8, 2020
Publisher:University of Texas Press
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9781477322338

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