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Back in 1977 Diane Ackerman wrote to Albert Mitchell to ask if she might visit his cattle ranch in New Mexico to experience what branding season was like. She asked not to be pampered and to be allowed to ride with the cowboys and live the lifestyle authentically. He agreed and a long visit ensued. Ackerman is an east coast Cornell grad student when she sets off on this journey. She's a poet and this was her first prose book. It's a memoir of her three seasons at the ranch (branding, shipping an...more
This was purely wonderful. A great book-- great writing, great subject matter, beautifully captured setting, informative insight, compelling personal observation and life experience. I'm usually prejudiced against east coasters who go west and are "jazzed" about everything and then proceed to tell all their friends about it so they can overrun the place in the blink of an eye, demanding to enjoy the same cosmopolitan life they enjoyed where they came from, only with a view of the mountains-- but...more
Diane Ackerman received her B.A. in English from Penn State and an M.F.A. and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University in 1978. Her dissertation advisor was Carl Sagan. From 1980 to 1983 she taught English at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been married to novelist Paul West since 1970. She currently resides in Ithaca, New York. A collection of her manuscripts, writings and pap...moreMore about Diane Ackerman...