Publication date: May 2011
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Fifty Miles from Home
Riding the Long Circle on a Nevada Family Ranch
For more than a decade, photographer Linda Dufurrena has recorded with powerful eloquence the rugged, beautiful landscape of northern Nevada and the patterns of life on the Dufurrena family ranch in the Quinn River Valley. Her work has appeared in magazines and has been widely exhibited, but now, for the first time, over 100 of her finest photographs are collected in book form. Accompanied by a brilliant essay by her daughter-in-law, geologist Carolyn Dufurrena, that discusses the rhythms of the land and of life on the ranch, the photographs in Fifty Miles from Home vividly depict the heart of the West and its fabled ranch culture.
Within the fifty-mile circle of territory over which the Dufurrena family ranch operates—territory ranging from the edges of the barren Black Rock Desert to high, aspen-filled mountain basins—Linda and Carolyn Dufurrena follow the annual cycle of ranch work and the seasonal changes of the surrounding landscape. Life in this remote Nevada backcountry is shaped by the challenges of the austere Great Basin desert around the ranch and by the time-honored skills of generations of ranch families. We witness in Linda Dufurrena's magnificent color photographs the seasons of lambing and cattle drives; the work of cowboys and sheepherders; the animals around the ranch, from orphan lambs to horses to an arrogant rooster; and the close-knit ranch community of the multigenerational Dufurrena family and its hired workers. And around the ranch, in every direction, are vistas of breathtaking beauty as the natural landscape evolves through the seasons, as flowers bloom and storms pass overhead.
“Dufurrena’s photography has always reflected her life—the geography of where she lives and the people around her. She shows the endless skies and vistas, the stories that live in Nevada’s rocks, the two-track roads that seem to lead to nowhere, the wildlife and flora of the desert, the people at work, at rest and at ease.” —Susan Skorupa, Reno Gazette-Journal, December 4, 2001
“. . . expect great photography, particularly landscape and nature shots, and fine commentary that will take you right into the heart of Nevada ranching country.” —Western Horseman, June 2002
“Linda’s photos are always competent; the landscapes are often better than that. They portray a moody, weathered land, downy with snow on one page, gasping for water on another. And always there is the potential for soaring beauty, most particularly in the form of dramatic skyscapes.” —Scott Dickensheets, Las Vegas Life, December 2001
“This well-made and heartfelt book is at once a primer in high desert ranching, a salute to the stark beauty of this empty country and the people who work it, and—alas—an elegy to a culture that is disappearing.” —Cheryll Glotfelty, Journal of the West, April 2004
“Duferrena’s photographs—while beautifully rendered and composed—resist sentimentality and romantic notions of ranch labor.” —Brandon R. Schrand, Western American Literature, Summer 2004
Readers of Fifty Miles will likely be seduced by Carolyns writings and equally, or even more, by Lindas exquisite and creative photography. - Klamath Falls Herald and News