Let culture vultures everywhere take note: Salt Lake City is a force to be reckoned with! As a newcomer to the area, I’m continually surprised by the talent of the local creative community. The most recent testament to this was last night’s event for Jana Richman and her debut novel, The Last Cowgirl:
In a setting as harsh as the future she has laid out for herself, Dickie Sinfield must come to terms with her family, her past, and the choices she has made when her brother is killed from nerve gas poisoning out in the West desert of Utah. The Great Basin that stretches from the Wasatch to the Sierra Nevada mountains offers little room for error, and the people who work the land know it better than anyone. And try as she might to stay away, ultimately it’s the draw of the land that offers Dickie a second chance at happiness.
Three lucky things in a row happened to make this event good: The Framery gave us permission to use the gallery, the snow held off (allowing me to cart 50+ chairs from TKE to The Framery) and an attendee brought a camera (and very justly chastised me for forgetting mine). The fact that the event was great is owing all to Jana.
It’s a rare treat to get to listen to someone as honest and as thoughtful as Jana Richman. She gave us the inside scoop on which parts of the book were autobiographical and which were fictional, her love of the West and her struggle with the complexity of the issues facing it, discussed the role of the military in ranching, read two passages… It was a lively night, and the discussion spilled back into the store during the signing and kept up until close.
We’ve got plenty of signed copies, so if you couldn’t make it out never fear! This is a great book for those who grew up in the West, those who love the West, and those interested in learning more about its unique character and culture.