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The Solace of Open Spaces

By: Gretel Ehrlich
Narrated by: Gretel Ehrlich
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Summary

A collection of transcendent, lyrical essays on life in the American West, the classic companion to Gretel Ehrlich’s new book, Unsolaced

“Wyoming has found its Whitman.” (Annie Dillard)

Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on “the planet of Wyoming”, a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life.

Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces - the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons - in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves.

Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose “as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning” (Newsday), Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us.

©2020 Gretel Ehrlich (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Any one of [its 12 chapters] stands beautifully on its own.... She brings the long vistas into focus with the poise of an Ansel Adams." (The New York Times Book Review)

"A stunning rumination on life on Wyoming's High Plains.... Ehrlich's gorgeous prose is as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning." (Newsday

"Ehrlich's best prose belongs in a league with Annie Dillard and even Thoreau. The Solace of Open Spaces releases the bracing air of the wilderness into the stuffy, heated confines of winter in civilization." (San Francisco Chronicle

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A wonderful listen

Poetic, informative, a fascinating insight into Wyoming life and the inhabitants who live there. Good narration.

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  • Judith U
  • 17-07-22

makes one think

Enjoyed listening to the book, the visual made it a moving experience. Really enjoyed it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-22

Narrative poetry!

Gretel Ehrlich is not only a wonderful story teller, creating drama out of ordinary observances (landscape, animals, weather), she also elevates embedded metaphors most effectively. Her images enrich the reader’s understanding of the experiences she had. It is SO RARE to find authors who do this well. Her voice gives you no choice but to stargaze, get frostbite, feel lonely and embrace wild beauty right alongside Ehrlich. Transported to Wyoming and transcending an ordinary, dull way of seeing things, I will recommend this book to everyone who asks.

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  • Jamie L.
  • 13-05-22

Hoping to see a movie.

I loved this book. So descriptive as if you became a living page or sentence with the words..
Onto a next book from the author. She literally brings my western heart home 🏡 💓

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  • Carla
  • 06-04-22

I loved this book

the story is great. the narrator has a very pleasant voice and you can picture the scenes in your mind as the story unfold.