In the early seventies, some of us were shot like stars from our parents’ homes. This was an act of nature, bigger than ourselves. In the austere beauty and natural reality of Hell’s Canyon of Eastern Oregon, one hundred miles from pavement, Pam, unable to identify with her parent’s world and looking for deeper pathways has a chance encounter with returning Vietnam warrior Skip Royes. Skip, looking for a bridge from survival back to connection, introduces Pam to the vanishing culture of the wandering shepherd and together they embark on a four-year sojourn into the wilderness. From the back of a horse, Pam leads her packstring of readers from overlook to water crossing, down trails two thousand years old, and from the vantages she chooses for us, we feel the edges of our own experiences. It is a memoir of falling in love with a place and a man and the price extracted for that love. Written with deep lyricism, Temperance Creek is a work of haunting beauty, fresh and irreverent and rooted in the grit and pleasure of daily life. This is Pam’s story, but the courage and truth in the telling is part of our human experience. Seen through a slower more primary mirror, one not so crowded with objectivity, Pam’s memoir, is a kind of home-coming, a family reunion for shooting stars.
A powerful memoir of a female wilderness firefighter—“a story of love, friendship, wildfire, and death written in vivid prose fresh from the fire line” (John N. Maclean, author of Fire on the Mountain). Mary Emerick was once a shy schoolgirl before she dared to become that rarest of heroes—a woman who could stand on the front lines in the heat of a roaring wildfire. Determined to forge herself into a stronger, braver person, Mary climbed to heights she never imagined and found a courage within herself she never knew existed. But when she lost someone she loved to the nightmarish Storm King Mountain forest fire in Colorado that killed fourteen firefighters, Mary faces the hardest choice of her life—to stay in the game, or turn back and try to find the woman she used to be. Fire in the Heart is both a thrilling memoir about life-threatening work and a meditation on identity, bravery, unbreakable bonds, and survivor’s guilt. It is “a moving and bittersweet memoir of a woman’s love affair with a unique profession” (Kirkus Reviews).
Radical editor, Republican Party operative, freethinking colleague of Karl Marx - Austrian Henry Boernstein was hardly a "nobody," but his is one of the nineteenth century's great unknown lives. After leaving Paris following the ill-fated revolutions of 1848, Boernstein became a leader of the large German-speaking immigrant population in 1850s St. Louis. He edited the premier German-speaking newspaper in the region, the Anzeiger des Westens, and played a major role in shaping the complex political landscape of St. Louis before the Civil War. A friend of such significant Missourians as Thomas Hart Benton, Francis Blair, Jr., and Nathaniel Lyon, he was also a novelist, playwright, director, and actor who eventually led the St. Louis Opera House. He also served as a colonel of volunteers with the Union forces in Missouri early in the war and participated in the Camp Jackson raid in 1861.