Desert Solitaire Background

Desert Solitaire Background

Desert Solitaire is an autobiographical nature journal by Edward Abbey, published in 1968. It is Abbey's fourth published book and first full length non-fiction work. 

Frequently compared to Thoreau's Walden, Desert Solitaire is regarded highly as a critical addition to the nature writing genre and environmentalist literature. Its similarities to Walden also include the authors' mutual dislike of organized society. 

The 269 page book details both personal stories from the author and personal opinions about the impact of commercialization and tourism. Interspersed are critiques of industrial society and materialism, as well as the state of United States politics. A heavily-covered topic in the book involves the industrial pressures on the desert, specifically the inundation of the Glen Canyon. 

Upon release, Desert Solitaire did not experience the same momentum that his previous works had, though its modest audience garnered positive reviews. 

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