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Raising Wild: Dispatches From a Home in the Wilderness

by Michael P. Branch
An ode the extreme landscape of Nevada's Great Basin Desert—its terrain, its wildlife, and how an intrepid father and two little girls have made the wilderness their home

Combining natural history, humor, and personal narrative, Raising Wild is an intimate exploration of Nevada’s Great Basin Desert, the wild and extreme land of high desert caliche and juniper, of pronghorn antelope and mountain lions, where wildfires and snowstorms threaten in equal measure. 

Michael Branch “earned his whiskers” in the Great Basin Desert of northwestern Nevada, in the wild and extreme landscape where he lives off the grid with his wife and two curious little girls. Shifting between pastoral passages on the beauty found in the desert and humorous tales of the humility of being a father,
Raising Wild offers an intimate portrait of a landscape where mountain lions and ground squirrels can threaten in equal measure. With Branch’s distinct lyricism and wit, this exceedingly barren landscape becomes a place resonant with the rattle of snakes, the plod of pronghorn antelope, and the rustle of juniper trees, a place that is teeming with energy, surprise, and an endless web of connections. Part memoir, part homage to an environment all-to-often brushed aside as inhospitable, Raising Wild offers an intergenerational approach to nature, family, and the forgotten language of wildness.
in Nature + Our Planet
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Published June 2017

Roost Books

Paperback, 320 pages

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"Michael Branch has been an essential figure in western letters for years. Now, in Raising Wild, he brings us an intimate look into one remarkable family's life situated deeply in their place. Whether writing of antelope or antelope squirrels, scorpions or daughters, Branch sweeps smoothly between downright mordant humor and stilling insight, through depths of fresh thought all along the way. His essays mean so much, I could enjoy reading them even upside down, or back to front."—Robert Michael Pyle, author of Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place