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Book of the Week: A Pick by Laura M. André


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Laura M. André Laura M. André selects Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado, by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe, as Book of the Week.
Drowned River: 
The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado
by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe. 
Radius Books, 2017.

Laura M. André selects Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe, from Radius Books, as Book of the Week.

In their new publication, Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon, Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe present the results of their five-year project to rediscover Glen Canyon. Drowned River combines the well-known re-photography approach that Klett and Wolfe have perfected in numerous projects and books with Rebecca Solnit's unparalleled writing, which deftly weaves together facts, evidence, personal experience, and photography.

In 1963, the Sierra Club published Eliot Porter's book The Place That No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado. The book is a photographic eulogy for Glen Canyon — once one of the most remote and spectacular places on the continent. As the Colorado River, impounded by the Glen Canyon Dam, slowly rose to create Lake Powell, it swallowed the canyon's narrow, colorful slots, submerged ancient signs of human habitation, and displaced countless species of flora and fauna.

The Glen Canyon Dam was one of the century's most heartbreaking losses for environmentalists, but Porter's project also marked one of the most powerful instances of an artist using photography as a tool for environmental activism.

A half-century later, the effects of climate change have started to impact the enormous reservoir, and the receding waters are beginning to reveal Glen Canyon's treasures again. At the same time, the Colorado River is returning to the upper reaches of the reservoir, and even carving new routes through the landscape.

Meticulously re-tracing Porter's journey through Glen Canyon and reproducing excerpts from Porter's book, Drowned River is not a straightforward re-photographic project. The three contributors offer a poignant, remarkable, and important visual and textual record that, while it engages with the past and  Porter's work, asks us to stop and consider the present moment — really just a nanosecond in geological time — as well as the unpredictability of the future.

Purchase Book

Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado
by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe. Radius Books, 2017.
Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado
by Mark Klett, Rebecca Solnit, and Byron Wolfe. Radius Books, 2017.


Laura M. André received her PhD in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught photo history at the University of New Mexico before leaving academia to work with photobooks. She is the manager of photo-eye's book division.


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