From the author of the classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid recollection of his travels around the world and the encounters that have shaped an extraordinary life.
Taking us nearly from pole to pole – from modern megacities to some of the earth’s most remote regions -- and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that describes his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.
Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics.
Throughout his journeys – to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe – and via friendships with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
Horizon is a revelatory, epic work that voices concern but also hope – a book that makes you see the world differently, and that is the crowning achievement by one of America's great voices.
“A celebration and investigation of the impulse to explore, Horizon is itself an exploration—of both the human and inhuman worlds. In his intensity, his clarity, and his capacity for wonder, Barry Lopez is unmatched.”
“Riveting, seductive, and beautifully written. I don’t know of any other writer who so mesmerizingly, so seemingly effortlessly, weaves together art, science and poetry—I found myself underlining sentences on every page. Barry Lopez is one of my literary heroes.”
“Subtle, monumental, rich, spare”
“The greatest nature writer in the world ... He is also the greatest travel writer ... [an] astounding new memoir”
Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
“Nobody journeys like Barry Lopez. He's humble, he's ethical, he's honest, he's curious, he's doubtful, he's properly sad and he's wild. He wakes us up to the worth and the mystery of the world. His great affection for humanity comes up from every patch of earth he visits. This is an epic book that goes from pole to pole, and yet manages to make a distinct 'everywhere' out of each little patch he visits. A glorious book, gloriously told.”
“The world is vast, and so are the heart and the curiosity of Barry Lopez. His voice is incomparable and necessary. No one else alive, to my knowledge, thinks so carefully about the moral dimensions of landscape.”
“No one has worked harder to make sense of our present civilization than Barry Lopez, and in these chronicles we get to share the travels that helped shape his extraordinary mind and heart. A great gift to us all.”
“Barry Lopez brings the world alive like no other writer. His writing evokes diverse peoples and places with great humanity and humility. Horizon deserves to become a modern classic”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
“Barry Lopez is a straight-up magnificent writer. To read Horizon is to be transported to wondrous landscapes far beyond the pale, and thereby obtain an astounding perspective on our increasingly uncertain future. Lopez expresses faith that our species can avert annihilationby investing ‘more deeply in the philosopher’s cardinal virtues’: courage, justice, reverence, and compassion—virtues this book possesses in abundance.”
“A visionary masterpiece, a towering monument to a life dedicated to the whole of the world and everything in it”
Neil Ansell, author of THE LAST WILDERNESS
“A huge-hearted, wise and sorrowful book by the Philosopher-King of Gaia. A masterpiece.”
“Horizon is magnificent; a contemporary epic, at once pain and urgent, personal and oracular… Lopez has given us a grave, sorrowful, beautiful book”
Robert Macfarlane, Guardian, *Book of the Week*
“Reading Barry Lopez is a religious experience… most memorable and compelling”
Alex Preston, Observer
“Horizon deserves our recognition. It is breathtaking in its ambition… There could be no more essential guide than Lopez for navigating the time that remains”
Adam Weymouth, Sunday Times
“Horizon feels like the crowning achievement of Barry Lopez's illustrious career… we need adventurous, curious souls like Lopez to keep traveling and bringing back stories from beyond our particular horizon - in order to find our way forward as a species, together”
“Horizon encompasses both the conquistadors’ lust for gold and the mining of Big Data… I don’t know whether Lopez is possessed of extrasensory perception, but he’s not short of wisdom. And he’s not merely keeping it; he’s sharing it.”
Michael Kerr, Daily Telegraph
“Lopez… [is] renewing our sense of the entire planet…as home… He can move from the largest of canvases to the most local and seemingly familiar… [A] keen and uncompromising critic of the continuing colonialism that plagues the so-called developing world… At the same time, hope can be drawn from the fact that more of us are finally beginning to notice our predicament… a surer appreciation and reverence of the world that we inhabit”
John Burnside, Literary Review
“Superb essays that reveal the author's remarkable technical mastery of very diverse subjects, and these are rewarding. More-over, the examples of Captain Cook and Charles Darwin are on hand as historical proxies and inspirations for Lopez's own quest for global inclusivity. Finally there is, as distraction almost on every page, the sonorous cadence of his prose”
Mark Cocker, Spectator
“Horizon…[is] a magisterial and deeply personal survey of the world’s most remote regions… it is enthralling”
Penelope Lively, Tablet, *Summer reads of 2019*
“The best parts of Horizon are like a carefully constructed mosaic… Lopez packs his pages like the hold of a cargo plane, with everything strapped down, aisles between, and labelled… Horizon…has a definite design – like that of a garden”
Benjamin Lytal, London Review of Books
Michael Kerr, Daily Telegraph, *Books of the Year*
“An epic account of a life lived in love with and scrutiny of our wounded natural world”
Robert Macfarlane, Big Issue, *Books of the Year*