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apostrophes),where a commercial fisherman named Buckler would often taunt Fats about his competitor’s business practices. “Old Taylor guarantees his baits, fat man,”he would say. “Are these worms guaranteed?” “Damn right,”Fats would reply. ‘They’re guaranteed to be exactly as good as they are. One hundred percent.”As Buckler chuckled his way out the door, Fats would add, “If they ain’t, you bring ’em back and I’ll double-check ’em for you.” This casebook is guaranteed to be exactly as good as it is. M. GILBERT PORTER University ofMissouri Reviews 347 Ace ofHearts: The Westerns ofZane Grey. ByArthur G. Kimball. (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1993. 278 pages, $27.50.) The thesis of this confused, contentious, and condescending treatise is that Zane Grey was a writer of romance. It is not, despite the author’s claim, an original idea, but the book’s crippling flaw is its lack of a clear definition of the term, which appears at various times as simple boy-gets-girl love interest, pruri­ ent eroticism, or the high romance ofHugo or Stevenson. Kimball seems almost completely unfamiliar with Grey’s own writings on the subject: his two 1924 American Magazine articles and “My Answer To The Critics,” in The Zane Grey Collector#* (1978). These writings might have helped him locate Grey accurately where Grey himself thought he fit as a writer of romance. They also would have indicated something of Grey’s deep immersion in Social Darwinism, which Kimball thinks later scholars have overemphasized. So this ace ofhearts, when the chips are down, turns out to be only a deuce. The appendix deserves a last-place mention as surely the most curious entry' in the entire corpus of western literary criticism. This is a sort of Cliffs Notes version of Zane Grey, with plot summaries ofeach ofhis Westerns. “Each entry',” Kimball explains, “includes a ‘key’word or phrase intended merely as a sugges­ tion to help the reader.” The “key” to Heritage of the Desert, for example, is “hands”; for The Border Legion it is “thrill.” May these keys unlock greater treasures for other readers than they do for this one. GARYTOPPING Salt Lake Community College Made From This Earth: American Women and Nature. By Vera Norwood. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993. 368 pages, $37.50/$17.95.) To read almost any history ofAmerican environmentalism or collection of American nature writing, one might think thatwomen have made only minor, if 348 WesternAmerican Literature any, contributions in these areas. MadeFrom ThisEarth sets the record straight. This wide-ranging, exhaustively researched, and clearly written book retrieves the forgotten and marginalized nature work of American women. Further, it argues compellingly that women’s many and varied contributions to nature study and conservation constitute a distinct and significant tradition against a backdrop of men’s dominance in these fields. Vera Norwood, an associate professor ofAmerican studies at the University of New Mexico, has made women and nature her special province since coedit­ ing (withJanice Monk) TheDesert Is No Lady: Southwestern Landscapes in Women’s Writing and Art (1987). In Made From This Earth she contends that women’s tradition of appreciating nature as a wider home and including plants and animals in a sense offamily has been progressively marginalized with the rise of an industrial economy and scientific methods of resource management. In a roughly chronological presentation beginning with the nineteenth century, the first four chapters describe the careers of women whose work was viewed as an enlargement of their responsibilities in the domestic sphere and who thus met gender-role expectations: botanizers and nature educators, writers in the sea­ sonal tradition, illustrators and photographers of flora and fauna, and garden­ ers and landscape designers. The last four chapters chronicle the efforts of women whose activities and values have challenged social expectations: crusad­ ers such as Rachel Carson and her network of supporters, novelists who expose racist and sexist images of women and nature, observers and conservers of wildlife in the field, and ecological feminists. Aficionados ofwestern American literature will find chapters two and six of special interest. Chapter two traces a home-based women’s tradition in nature writing...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 347-348
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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