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Troubled Intimacies

A Life in the Interior West

David Axelrod

5 1/2 × 8 1/2 inches. 192 pages.

2004. ISBN 978-0-87071-038-4. Paperback, $18.95.

Having grown up amid the ravaged coalfields of Ohio, David Axelrod felt oddly at home when, twenty years ago, he moved west and saw his first clear-cut forest. In Troubled Intimacies, Axelrod explores his life in the rural interior West and the way in which surroundings, visible and invisible, shape our emotional and intellectual lives.

In describing his life and the lives of his neighbors in eastern Oregon's Grande Ronde Valley, Axelrod raises hard questions about the relationship between humans and the western landscape-a relationship too often predicated on disastrous violence. Axelrod reveals the dissonance that exists between the mythical American West and the far more complex, troubled relations we actually experience as individuals and communities in the western U.S. In these powerful and provocative essays, he shows the challenges and rewards of piecing together a meaningful life in the rural West.

Member of AAUP