Who knows what this July holds where rain, drought, and fires are concerned. Mark Arax, the California author of several books, including The King of California, is back to Elliott Bay with his newest, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California (Knopf).
“The Dreamt Land is the book Mark Arax was born to write. Nuanced, deeply researched, and profoundly personal, it offers, through its history of agriculture in California, a deep dive into the soul of the state. Arax knows the territory; he has written about rural California for many years. This is his crowning achievement, a work of reportage that is also a work of literature. It belongs on the short list of great books about the state.”—David L. Ulin.
“This is a stunning book. Biblical drama played against the harsh sun and earth of California’s Central Valley. Exodus, diaspora, parting the waters, sowing and reaping, Godlike dominion: it’s all in here. The Dreamt Land calls up Steinbeck and Didion, but it rests squarely on its own words, memories, and stories beyond mere comparison.”—William Francis Deverell.