Our Age of Sincere Inauthenticity
The route to authenticity is paved with artifice....
Frank Bergon is a novelist, critic, and essayist whose writing focuses on California and the American West. He has published 12 books — four novels, a critical study, two books of essays, and five edited collections. His Nevada trilogy consists of Shoshone Mike, The Temptations of St. Ed & Brother S, and Wild Game, three novels spanning a century from the Shoshone massacre of 1911 to the current battle over nuclear waste in the Nevada desert. His California trilogy consists of Jesse’s Ghost, Two-Buck Chuck & The Marlboro Man, and The Toughest Kid We Knew, all focusing on the San Joaquin Valley, including Basques and Béarnais of his own heritage. He is also the author of Stephen Crane’s Artistry, the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of The Journals of Lewis and Clark, The Western Writings of Stephen Crane, The Wilderness Reader, A Sharp Lookout: Selected Nature Essays of John Burroughs, and the co-editor with Zeese Papanikolas of Looking Far West: The Search for the American West in History, Myth, and Literature. He has taught at the University of Washington and for many years at Vassar College. (Photograph by Mark Alan Lovewell.)