Sunday, 27 December 2020

RIP Barry Holstun Lopez


"Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion."

Barry Lopez

I heard yesterday evening via Robert MacFarlane that the author Barry Lopez had died on Christmas Day at his house in Oregon: somewhere he and his wife were renting after the house he had lived in for decades had been affected by wildfires earlier in the year, which had also tragically destroyed a building containing an archive of his writing and documents.

I have blogged about Barry's writing numerous times here, and on my other blogs.

I bought his 'Arctic Dreams' book back in early 1987, from the Blackwells bookshop at Hull University while I was completing my PGCE. 

I've read it numerous times since, and also mined it for quotes and thoughts on the importance of story telling, as I did with his other books. His last published work was the masterful 'Horizon', which looked back over his life, and his travels against the backdrop of impending climate chaos.

From a review of the book:

“It treats the distant snowy world of the Arctic as a place that exists not only in the mathematics of geography, but also in the terra incognita of our imaginations.” 
Michiko Kakutani

An appreciation was printed in the New York Times today.

"If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." 

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