Three deserts and the fourth estate

Posted on | August 20, 2011 | 2 Comments


Perusing a new water book in Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena last June, I found myself reading various passages (sample above) that were strikingly similar to descriptions from a series that I reported and wrote for the Las Vegas Sun in 2008. There was no right response and there were plenty of wrong ones. The story of which wrong ones I chose, along with some notes on intellectual property law as it applies to a steadily vanishing population of original reporters, is in today's Los Angeles Review of Books. Click on the comparison copy and maps to be taken to LARB. Map source: US Geological Survey.




2 Responses to “Three deserts and the fourth estate”

  1. John Fleck
    August 20th, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    “The intersection of three deserts” is a wonderful little phrase that packs so much into a compact package, language at its most efficient. The best writing does its work that way, carrying its weight easily, handing off its little package of understanding and getting out of the way.

    It seems obvious, but only in retrospect.

  2. Daniel Reeders
    August 20th, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Please do publish that book, I’d love to read it. And this may be small consolation, but your writing is a hell of a lot better than Prud’homme’s.

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