The novels and nonfiction work of writer Frank Waters stand as a monument to his genius and to his lifetime quest to plumb the spiritual depths that he found for himself in the landscape and people of his beloved Southwest. In a career spanning more than half a century, he shared, through his many books, his insights and discoveries with countless readers across the globe.Now,
Higher Elevations: Stories from the West is a rich and varied anthology of fiction from Writers’ Forum. As the subtitle promises, it is regional, but these are not all stories from your grandfather’s (or Hollywood’s) West.
Novelist and critic Alexander Blackburn credits Waters’s novels such as The Man Who Killed the Deer, Pike’s Peak, People of the Valley, and The Woman at Otowi Crossing with creating a worldview that transcends modern materialism and rationalism. Central to Waters’s vision, he suggests, is the individual in whom are concentrated the creative powers of the universe.
A mile down the road from the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, a woman unearths an ancient shard of pottery bearing the thousands-year-old thumbprint of a Navawi‘i woman. A marriage is thrown into crisis by the husband’s discovery, on a fishing trip, of a girl’s corpse. To impress the prostitute he wants to marry, a man constructs a homemade atomic bomb.