The Dreamt Land

The Dreamt Land

Chasing Water and Dust Across California

Mark Arax

$15.99

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Description

A vivid, searching journey into California's capture of water and soil--the epic story of a people's defiance of nature and the wonders, and ruin, it has wrought

"[An] exhaustive, deeply reported account . . . Few other journalists could have written a book as personal and authoritative . . . As Arax makes plain in this important book, it's been the same story in California for almost two centuries now: When it comes to water, 'the resource is finite. The greed isn't.'" --Gary Krist, The New York Times Book Review


Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth.

The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the "Golden State" myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation's biggest farmers--the nut king, grape king and citrus queen--tell their story here for the first time.

Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it.


Author

Mark Arax:
MARK ARAX is an author and journalist whose writings on California and the West have received numerous awards for literary nonfiction. A former staffer at the Los Angeles Times, his work has appeared in The New York Times and the California Sunday Magazine. His books include a memoir of his father's murder, a collection of essays about the West, and the best-selling The King of California, which won a California Book Award, the William Saroyan Prize from Stanford University, and was named a top book of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Fresno, California.

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