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Half-Light: Westbound on a Hot Planet (Wayfarer)

Half-Light: Westbound on a Hot Planet (Wayfarer)

Current price: $26.99
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2024
University of Alberta Press
Available for Preorder


Braiding together personal, collective, and historical explorations of what it means to "go west," Amy Kaler's Half-Light: Westbound on a Hot Planet offers deep reflections on the meaning of life, middle age, and climate catastrophe. Her memoir weaves together three strands: living with the knowledge of one's own aging and mortality; the slow-moving catastrophes of climate change; and the human history of the North American settler west, especially locations that hold traces of vanished pasts. Many of the "ruins" Kaler explores--faded hamlets, bunkers, fields of cars, bends in the river--are interesting in themselves, and some serve as emblems of hope, generational commitment abandoned by contemporary heirs, faith, hubris, even carelessness. These stops are intertwined with reflections on aging, temporality, and change, making the book feel like a deeply satisfying road trip with a thoughtful friend. Moving from meditative to sobering in compelling and measured ways, Half-Light shimmers with urgency and suggestion.

About the Author

Amy Kaler is an Edmonton-based writer and Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta. She has lived in Edmonton, Treaty 6 territory since 2000. She is the author of Until Further Notice: A Year in Pandemic Time, a collection of essays published in 2022. She is also the author of three previous books. Kaler won the Cecile E. Mactaggart Travel Prize for Narrative Writing in 2019 and was shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Award for Personal Essays in 2021 and longlisted in 2022. Her nonacademic work appears in The New Quarterly, Queens Quarterly, and Spadina Literary Review.