Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Beginnings: Tough by Nature

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

TWITTER: If you are on Twitter, please tweet a link to your post using the has tag #BookBeginnings. My Twitter handle is @GilionDumas.

MR. LINKY: Please leave a link to your post below. If you don't have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.


If you've lived in ranch country much, you can tell a ranch woman by the wrinkles -- shallow at first but deepening into arroyos, gullies, little canyons as the wind and sun work on them.
-- from the Foreword by Larry McMurtry to Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West by Lynda Lanker, published by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum and distributed by OSU Press.
Lynda Lenker's book, Tough by nature, is a colorful and impressive look at forty-nine women in our country who have lived their lives is ranchers.
-- from the Introduction by Sandra Day O'Conner.
We was laughing just the other day about when I was sixteen, in the rodeo at Homedale, and my first bareback horse that day stomped on my leg and stomach.
-- from the first chapter, a portrait of National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame inductee, Jan Youren.

Tough by Nature is a gorgeous coffee table book filled with portraits of 49 real women ranchers of the western United States.  Each portrait is accompanied by a  short biography of the woman portrayed. 

The book represents close to 20 years of effort by artist Lynda Lanker.  She worked with oil pastels, pencil and charcoal, egg tempura, plate and stone lithography, engraving, and drypoint to capture the personalities of her subjects -- the matriarchs of the West. 

The book features a foreword by Larry McMurtry, an introduction by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and an afterword by Maya Angelou.

Tough by Nature is a first class production and is going straight to the top of my gift-giving list this Christmas. Even if I narrowed my list to spirited, independent women friends with a connection to the American West and a penchant for art, I could come up with over a dozen possible recipients. 

Anyone in Eugene, Oregon this weekend can see the Tough by Nature exhibit at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum.  Sunday is the last day.

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