Guernica Magazine

Terese Svoboda: Writing the Desert

The author and translator on the changing American region that shaped her thinking. The post Terese Svoboda: Writing the Desert appeared first on Guernica.

Heat, sand, emptiness—this is how we tend to think of deserts. But in her recent short story collection, Great American Desert, Terese Svoboda reveals the desert of the American plains to be nearly swollen with life and meaning. Lyrical and affecting, these stories reveal the evolution of a single place over the course of aeons.

The collection contains more than 25 years’ worth of writing, including “Major Long Talks to His Horse,” which appeared in Guernica in early 2019. The stories are organized chronologically, beginning with one set in prehistoric times and ending with one set in a drought-stricken future. All take place in the Great American Desert, that dry prairieland beginning just east of the Rocky Mountains and spanning to about the 100th meridian, a line of latitude that cleaves the United States in two, from the top of the Dakotas down to Texas. The region earned its name from colonizers in the nineteenth century—at that time, “desert” was used to describe not

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Guernica Magazine

Guernica Magazine7 min read
The Power of High Heels
Not necessarily for the male gaze, heels can exemplify an assertive personality, a refusal to be ignored. The post The Power of High Heels appeared first on Guernica.
Guernica Magazine15 min read
An Infrastructure of Innocence
On a trip to Alabama, reckoning with monuments, myths, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The post An Infrastructure of Innocence appeared first on Guernica.
Guernica Magazine17 min read
Stay and Fight
From the moment I met my son, blue as a cave troll, coated in vernix, gasping in the new air, my mission became to not undo all he was born with. The post Stay and Fight appeared first on Guernica.