Indiana (USA), 1927- Tucson (USA), 1989
Abbey was raised during the Great Depression in a family on the brink of poverty. Since he was a teenager he was a naturalist and ecologist, very critical of human interference in Appalachia. A fan of plants, natural mystery and shamanism, he worked odd jobs in mining, agriculture, and ranching. His academic field was always philosophy, with a special interest in anarchism and social action. But his true passion was always the western United States and, in particular, the desert. His writings of love for the west and his passion to protect it from dispossession make his environmental work one of the most suggestive and influential in history.
His first two works were the novels Jonathan Troya (1954) and The valiant cowboy (1956), which was later brought to the big screen under the title The Brave Walk Alone, a film played by Kirk Douglas. But it was his first non-fiction work that led him to fame: The Solitaire of the Desert (1968), a vivid memory of his work as a ranger in the Arcos National Park, written with a prose between ironic and bitter, but often bright, like the colors of a Utah summer sunset.