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Desert Flowers: Three Books That Are Anything But Dry

Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images

We often think of the desert as a place of negation: no water, very little plant and animal life, lots of empty space. But in reality, the desert is very full — undergoing constant physical change, very much inhabited by animals and humans, a complex geography that is imagined many different ways. Corporate interests see mining claims; environmentalists see habitats for endangered species; migrants see a burning plain they must cross to arrive in Canaan; ATV riders see a huge playground; spiritual seekers see God's country.

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