The six stories in Outside showcase Barry Lopez's majestic talent as a fiction writer. Lopez writes in spare prose, but his narratives resonate with an uncanny power. With a reverence for our exterior and interior landscapes, these stories offer profound insight into the relationships between humans and animals, creativity and beauty, and, ultimately, life and death. Again and again, whether describing a Navajo rug possessing the essence of its maker, a boy who can change places with his half-coyote dog (named Leaves), or a teacher whose presence brings into question the meaning of friendship, Lopez portrays elemental and sacred places. His prose transcends its simplicity to enter spaces of wonder and mystery. As James Perrin Warren says in his compelling introduction, "Lopez's narrators bear witness to extraordinary patterns and purposes . . . The storyteller is vital to the community and to a healthy landscape, but the vital relationship is also reciprocal. . . . We participate, along with Lopez, in the long history of storytelling. We become part of the atmosphere in which wisdom shows itself.
Barry Lopez was an essayist, author, and short-story writer who traveled extensively in both remote and populated parts of the world. He is the author of Arctic Dreams, which received the National Book Award; Horizon, Of Wolves and Men, Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape; and eight works of fiction, including Outside, Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes, and Resistance. He is the author of Syntax of the River: The Pattern Which Connects with Julia Martin. His essays are collected in two books, Crossing Open Ground and About This Life. Lopez lived in western Oregon.