has just won the 2014 Silver Medal for the most outstanding nonfiction book of the year awarded by the Independent Publishers Association.
Chosen as an Indie Ground Breaking Nonfiction
“Raucous adventure transpires… Berger writes richly and animatedly about the people he met, the places he explored, the spiritual subjects he parsed, and the unforgettable experiences he lived to the fullest during his time in Spain… Berger’s dynamic and lively prose, proves thoroughly infectious…”
– Craig Manning, Independent Publisher Magazine
THE END OF THE SHERRY recounts what happens to a young American who finds himself abandoned in southern Spain in 1965 with a dog and a dubious car, stumbles into work as a nightclub pianist, and stays for three improbable years. Berger’s adventures blossom into a portrait of provincial Spain toward the end of the Franco dictatorship — bleakness that breaks into unexpected hilarity even as the author discovers his calling as a person and a writer. His return to Spain after the death of Franco puts it all into perspective.
Nonfiction writer and poet Bruce Berger is best known for a series of books exploring the intersections of nature and culture, usually in desert settings. The first of these works, the essay collection The Telling Distance, won the 1990 Western States Book Award and the 1991 Colorado Book Award, and its contents have been widely anthologized. It was followed by There Was A River, whose title piece is a narrative of what may have been the last trip on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon before its inundation by Lake Powell, and by Almost an Island, which recounts three decades of exploration and friendship in Baja California.
Winner of the Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.
“Nothing is so hard to see as the great seeming emptiness of deserts. It is difficult for us to imagine connecting to the uninhabited enormity of such space. The job that Bruce Berger undertakes in The Telling Distance is that of encouraging us to love our deserts in their most forbidding aspects, and through them our own fragile communities and ourselves. As Berger says, we are the oasis we seek. This book is beautifully, precisely SAID.”
Jury Panel: N. Scott Momaday, Elizabeth Hardwick, William Kittredge, and Jorie Graham.
Fifty essays on the intersection of nature and culture in a desert setting, distilled from twelve years of writing, and focusing on such subjects as the humor and psychology of camping, desert architecture, mountaintop astronomy, designer deserts, birding, detritis, and Bach in the wilderness.