This image is the cover for the book Natural State

Natural State

“The personal essay at its best. What Edward Abbey did for the desert Southwest and what E. B. White did for Maine, Harrigan has done for Texas.” —Houston Chronicle

In this remarkable collection of essays, Stephen Harrigan explores, with an unfailing depth of feeling, the human longing to feel at home in the world of nature. In vivid and convincing prose, he evokes the landscape of his home territory, Texas, and his own reactions, sometimes droll, sometimes haunted, to the extraordinary power of place that Texas projects.

“Like our best nature writers, he tells us not only what’s out there, but connects it to our everyday lives . . . A Natural State is recommended reading not just for Texans but for all who would explore their connections to the natural world.” —The Washington Post

“While ‘luminous’ is not a word that you would think of in connection with the Lone Star State, that’s what these pieces are . . . They are filled with poetry, wit, and delightfully offbeat observations.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Harrigan defty weaves fact, historical perspective, and personal experience into a tightly interlaced evocative fabric . . . By the end of the book, he brings the vast Texas landscape within grasp of even the most skeptical reader.” —The Denver Post

“Harrigan’s observations are not those of an academically trained naturalist but rather the fresh outlook of a city-bred tourist rejoicing in the exhilaration of discovery.” —Booklist

“Though several of the essays display a strong ecological bent, the author is never shrill. He is an accomplished prose stylist who combines accurate research with an unerring eye for detail. Highly recommended.” —Science

Stephen Harrigan

A contributing editor of Texas Monthly magazine, Stephen Harrigan is also the author of Water and Light: A Diver's Journey to a Coral Reef and Aransas.

University Of Texas Press Austin