Blue Dog, Green River

Blue Dog is a spirited mongrel with one blue eye, one brown. She winds up in the pound in Moab, Utah, after being shot for thieving chickens and is saved from certain death by a Green River raftsman named Paul Nozik. “Wound wasn’t healed yet,” Paul reports. “Soon as it did, I dropped her off the raft. It was sink or swim, quit chickens or drown. She had to make a quick choice.”

A reformed Blue Dog responds instinctively to river life, riding rapids with savvy aplomb. The bond between dog and man grows strong, indeed seems to be unbreakable.

And then, one hot desert afternoon, Blue Dog is mistakenly left behind at Cat Lick, abandoned in the middle of Desolation Canyon. Her days and nights are a struggle to beat her way back to the raftsman, down river, past the cliffs and “hoodoos” and other hazards of the deep canyon. Paul is desperate to find her as well, against the current of the Green, finally against a flash flood precipitated by a vicious squall.

As if by magic, a third party materializes among these perils—one of the Old People, out of the distant, mythic past of the Green River itself. Is he nothing more than a piece of “rock art” in a dog’s dream—a Kokopelli off a canyon wall—or has Blue Dog, much as the raftsman fears, found herself another master?

This remarkable Western tale evokes the majesty and mystery of landscape in the heartland of the American Desert. At the same time, it captures all the suspense and adventure of climbing, rafting, and venturing in that incomparable wilderness. A classic story of a man and his dog, who together must brave the high waters that these canyonlands forever enfold.

It reads like lightning.
Peter Benchley

Reading it can really make the armchair adventurer feel he’s in the midst of it. Brower’s … understanding of animals and of nature in her roughest wilderness guise is impressive.
Hugh Downs

Brock Brower was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and educated at Dartmouth University, Harvard Law School, and Oxford University. He enjoyed a wide-ranging career as a writer, including stints with Esquire, Life, Harper’s Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine, ABC News, the Children’s Television Workshop, and the speechwriting team of Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. He also managed to produce his own short stories and novels, for which he received an O. Henry Prize, a National Book Award for Fiction, a National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Throughout his success, he remained devoted to his wife, fashion model and writer Ann Montgomery, and their five children.

Nancy Lawton, artist, began using silverpoint in 1985. Already an accomplished graphite artist, she quickly grasped the unique virtues of the medium, which was more widely used during the Renaissance than today. She also saw the potential of combining it with graphite or even sparingly applied acrylic color. The complex effects of her multimedia approach are particularly notable in recent portraits. Lawton was also adept at botanical drawing. Today, her drawings are part of the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY.