In May, I posted a story about this wonderful Utah bookstore, now just in time for the 50th anniversary of Edward Abbey’s environmental classic Desert Solitaire, Back of Beyond Books in Moab, has launched three different publishing projects to release work that both celebrates and interrogates Desert Solitaire. To help fund those projects, store owner Andy Nettell has also launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $15,000 and a duration of 30 days.
In November, Back of Beyond will publish Amy Irvine’s Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness in conjunction with Torrey House Press. In Desert Cabal, Irvine not only celebrates Abbey’s work and the influence it had on her life, but also challenges many of the dated and even sexist ideas within it.
The store will also be publishing a limited-run facsimile of the first draft of Desert Solitaire, featuring “hundreds of manuscript changes” in Edward Abbey’s own hand; only 50 sets will be available. And in partnership with Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books, Back of Beyond will release four Desert Solitaire-themed “literary letterpress broadsides” featuring original work from writers Doug Peacock, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams and Amy Irvine.
“I’m so excited about these three publications,” said Nettell. “But it is a little scary, too. Even though I’ve been in the book trade for 18 years, we’ve never published a book and I really had no idea how expensive books and publications are to publish.”
Abbey’s Desert Solitaire has been the bestselling book at Back of Beyond throughout its 29 years of existence. Abbey himself worked as a ranger at nearby Arches National Monument for two seasons in the 1950s, and the journal he kept during that time would later grow into Desert Solitaire.
via Shelf Awareness