I got the lousy news on NPR that Charles Bowden died in his sleep on

August 30, 2014.  I loved his books.  I loved in particular Blue Desert,

the first book of his I read.  I liked hearing that he was rambling

alone on foot in the Sonoran desert, disregarding borders and

bird watching.  I often paired Charles Bowden and Jim Harrison in my

mind, both of them liking southern Arizona and writing often about

birds and their songs.


Once, I wrote a novel called Six White Horses, which takes place

in Mexico.  I took a chance and through some bookstore people in

Tucson, found an address I could write to him.  Of course, I wanted

a jacket blurb.  What an imposition on a busy writer.


But Mr. Bowden wrote me back and said send the book along.  I

sent it along and he read it and wrote me a nice blurb, from the heart, I like

to think.  I read him in magazines too, enjoying his work, which was

immediate, humane and transcendent.


So long Mr. Bowden.  You once said that when we’re gone we’ll be

known for our work.  I’ve got you on my shelves.