Dancing on the Stones: Selected Essays

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University of New Mexico Press, 2000 - Literary Collections - 247 pages
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If you've read any of John Nichols's novels or books of nonfiction, you've met a lively, funny, and very impassioned man. This new collection of essays gives you the opportunity to know him even more intimately. Taoseno, fisherman, father, author, spokesman for all underdogs, Nichols has gathered writings that span more than thirty years and range from idyllic reflections on nature to unmerciful satires on impending Armageddon. We see the author as a young man on the trip to Central America that gave him a social conscience that wouldn't quit; as a hunter, hiker, and naturalist on rivers and in mountains increasingly threatened by development; and as a novelist watching in embarrassed disbelief as his book "The Milagro Beanfield War" is made into a movie that succeeds in spite of Hollywood's best efforts to garble the outcome. The vitality that made Nichols a standout prep-school mischief maker and college hockey player lends irresistible high spirits even to essays about departed friends and mortal illness--subjects that are treated with compassion, bawdy irreverence, thoughtful philosophizing, and the author's intense love of life.

Nichols can find a miraculous universe in a tiny stock pond, turn a rafting trip into a Keystone Kops misadventure, advocate revolution at a moment's notice, and laugh with beguiling aplomb at his own awkward pomposity. Almost everything this long-time New Mexican has to say is at once deadly serious and bright with untrammeled joy and curiosity.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Politically charged essays by the noted novelist and screenwriter. One of the last of the '60s-era true believers, Nichols (Conjugal Bliss, 1993, etc.) has earned a strong reputation not only for this ... Read full review

Dancing on the stones: selected essays

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This collection of essays represents the "stepping stones" of Nichols's "journey" as an author. Almost all of the essays have been previously published or presented, and most are about the Southwest ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

John Nichols's "New Mexico Trilogy," inaugurated in 1974 with the publication of "The Milagro Beanfield War," has grown from regional stature to national appeal, from literary radicals to cult classics. Beloved for his compassionate, richly comic vision and admired for his insight into the cancer that accompanies unbridled progress, Nichols is the author of nine novels and six works of nonfiction. He lives in northern New Mexico.

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