A Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave
A Book Reading with Sean Prentiss
Thursday, June 2
About the Book
When author Edward Abbey died in 1989, four friends illegally buried him in a hidden desert grave. The final resting place of “The Thoreau of the American West” has become a part of modern American folklore and is located, according to Abbey’s undertaker Doug Peacock, where “no one would find it.”
Exactly twenty years after the death of my favorite author, I moved from the West to a Midwestern city. This urban move left me with an ache of placelessness and reminded me of an Abbey quote: “Who cares whether we found true gold or only fool’s gold. The adventure lies in the search.” With that quote echoing, I set out on a nearly two year journey to find Abbey’s grave as a way of reclaiming my home in the West.
Finding Abbey: a Search for Edward Abbey’s Life and Grave is a travelogue th at begins in Abbey’s hometown of Home, Pennsylvania. During my journey across America, I search for who Abbey was, how to unravel his complicated legacy, and what my future in the West might be.
By the closing chapters, with clues teased from research, travel, and interviews, I venture into a 800,000 acre American desert. After three days hiking beneath the white sun, I find something.
About the Author
Sean Prentiss is a environmental writer. In 2013, he settled, with his beautiful wife Sarah, onto the banks of a small lake in Vermont. He is author of Finding Abbey: A Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Grave, a National Outdoor Book Award winner, Colorado Book Award finalist, and a named “Best of 2015 Nonfiction” by Entropy Magazine. He is also the co-author of Nature and Environmental Writing textbook and co-editor of The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre, which asks creative nonfiction writers to ruminate on creative nonfiction.