Eugenie, Oregon (AP)—The award-winning author Barry Lopez has passed away. He tried to strengthen the connection between people and place by describing his 50 years of travel. He was 75 years old.
His family said that Lopez died last Friday in Eugene, Oregon, after years of fighting prostate cancer.
A longtime friend and former Oregon poet laureate Kim Stafford said that Lopez’s book “is a landmark that defines a region, time, and career. He also demonstrates his love for crafts and learning. And a life of humility in the face of all kinds of wisdom.”
Lopez has written nearly 20 books and collections of essays and short stories on natural history research, and won the National Book Award in 1
His last work is “Horizon”, an autobiography that recalls his life traveling in more than 70 countries/regions.
Lopez was born in Port Chester, New York in 1945, grew up in San Fernando Valley, California, and grew up in New York City after his mother remarried. He wrote in “Horizon” (Horizon) that in those growing years, he developed “a desire to disappear. Find a place where the skyline is closed.”
He spent his later years with his wife Debra Gwartney in a woodland on the McKenzie River east of Eugene. After years of articles about the impact of nature and humans on climate change, he mourned the loss of a few acres of wood in the September 2020 holiday farm fire, not to mention personal files.
The wildfire damaged Lopez’s house so much that he could not live. The fire also destroyed a building that stored his original manuscripts, personal letters, photos and a typewriter he used to write books. His friend quickly replaced the IBM Selectric III with the same model.
“Just incredible work and memories,” said his stepdaughter Stephanie Woodruff (Stephanie Woodruff). “Very carefully maintained and organized. Of course, (loss) is devastating. He wrote every book with a typewriter.”
In 2013, Lopez wrote an article “Sliver of Sky”, stating that he had been sexually abused by his family and friends since he was 7 years old. For several years, Lopez said it was cathartic try.
Woodruff said that this article may help to write “Horizon”, a book that is more than two decades old. The Associated Press stated in its 2019 review that the book is like the highest achievement of Lopez’s outstanding career, describing it as a travel diary, history, scientific lectures, autobiography and completely unique.
Woodruff said: “I do think that (the paper) published something on him to really study and perfect Horizon.” “Of course, everything he writes is private.”
In a statement on Saturday, his family encouraged financial support for the McKenzie River Trust, which Lopez had worked with in conservation efforts.
Lopez’s wife, four stepdaughters and an older brother survived. The younger brother died in 2017.