The spellbinding true story of a young woman's adventure in the Australian outback as she joins a small crew on an abandoned cattle station and drags feral cattle in from the wild. One thousand square miles of coastal scrub--inundated by monsoon floods in summer, baked dry in winter, and filled with the most deadly animals in the world--Stilwater seems an unlikely home for a cattle operation. But in the countless miles beyond the station compound roam tens of thousands of cows, many entirely feral from a long period of neglect.
Rafael has been hired, along with a ragged crew of ringers and stockmen, to bring them in for drafting. Over a season they use helicopters, motorcycles, bullcatcher jeeps, horses, ropes, and knives to win Stilwater Station back from the wild. A deeply poetic inquiry into our desire to make order where we find wildness, Stilwater: Finding Mercy in the Outback suffuses us with salt and scrub and blood, blurring the line between domestic and feral in wondrous, unsettling ways.
About the Author
Rafael de Grenade grew up on a rural farm in the foothills of the Santa Maria Mountains outside of Prescott, AZ. She began working for the rugged Cross U Ranch in north central Arizona at age 13 -- riding, branding, shoeing horses, and gathering cows. Her diverse and place-based education helped her to develop a deep understanding of the farm and the Southwest and her place as a land steward, artist, scientist, and writer.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies from Prescott College, plus a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Arizona.
She has traveled in many countries, seeking to understand the complexities of the people-place relationship in the context of a globalizing world. Rafael divides her time with her husband, Jaime, and daughter, Soraya, between the Southwest of the United States and Chile.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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I absolutely loved this book and found it really hard to put down. A young woman, well versed in riding and outdoor life from her experiences on a ranch in USA, wants to experience life on an outback cattle station in Australia. She got more than she could ever have imagined; an experience that changed her forever. Her descriptions of the people, the animals and nature itself makes it totally real. We see station life as it is, not how we would like it to be - there's grog, dirt, cruelty and harshness, but there is also companionship, loyalty, beauty and humour. I'd have liked her to give a bit more of her own feelings at times - when she suddenly did cartwheels on the beach, I was shocked.. I did not know that girl. By the end though, I was crying with her as she left - I just wanted it to go on. I'd love to hear more of your life Rafael.
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st July 2014
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.2 x 14.0 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.36