Barren, Wild, and Worthless
Living in the Chihuahuan Desert
Appearing barren and most definitely wild, the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States may look worthless to some, but for Susan Tweit it is an inspiration. In this collection of seven elegant personal essays, she explores undiscovered facets of this seemingly hostile environment. With eloquence, passion, and insight, she describes and reflects on the relationship between the land, history, and people and makes this underappreciated region less barren for those who would share her journeys.
"A collection of insightful essays . . . Here are stories of conditions often out of balance, mostly without visible remedy—short-sighted urban renewal, the legacy of over-grazing, aquifer depletion, the loss of an old church and with it the gathering place of a whole community. . . . Those interested in the history and ecology of the region will want to pick it up, as well as those looking for good contemporary essay writing about the West."—The New Mexican
"A magical and beautiful book."—Denise Chávez
"There's often little to this terrain, but to the author it's a beautiful landscape bursting with stories and wildlife, with big cities and small chunks of quietness found in few other places on earth. Tweit's essays have a pleasant style that combines history with personal discovery."—Book Talk
"Sense of place is measured by one's awareness of the landscape and the extent to which it dictates thought and behavior. Barren, Wild, and Worthless dramatizes the aspirations, needs, and functional rhythms of life that are revealed and defined by this seventh sense."—Southwestern American Literature