Paradise Mislaid

We love the song “A Girl and Her Horse” by the band Carbon Leaf. Surfacely, it’s about . . . well, a girl and her horse. Subdermally, it’s a metaphor for loss. The same might be said of author Deanne Stillman’s new literary nonfiction work Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West. A paean to paradise mislaid? Yes. A lot of other things, too, including a metaphorical indictment of our cultural choices? Yep.

Speaking of metaphors, Mustang returns its author to her overarching symbol: the American desert. Stillman’s been appropriately lionized for her instant classic Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave, but her book-length essay Joshua Tree: Desolation Tango is also worth a read.

Thu., June 5, 7 p.m., 2008

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