Nichols defines his long sojourn in Taos as enthusiastically, poignantly--and humorously--as any of the artists who have so richly evoked the spirit of our complex state. There are disquisitions on landscape, community, weather, old age, and the vagaries of time. Mountains, mesa, and river gorge loom prominently in every chapter. Personalities galore--friends, enemies, soothsayers, and lovers--inhabit the narrative, and curious animals stroll about. Great sections on trout fishing, hunting, and rattlesnakes illuminate the story. Old timers filled with wisdom bequeath to Nichols their precious roots. Politics and mythologies shine throughout, and the author's famous magic realism occasionally rears its gaudy head to explicate a thorny situation. New Mexico past and present is on every page, and cautionary tales for the future also abound.
In the end, The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn is a classic and exuberant paean to the rhythm of life in a wonderful country by the noted author of The Milagro Beanfield War and many other works of fiction and nonfiction, including On the Mesa (also published by Ancient City Press).
John Nichols is a member of the Hamilton College class of 1962.
"Novelist John Nichols . . . is by turns harsh, sentimental, lusty, and humorous. The landscape and people come alive here in all their variety, depth, and richness. . . . This is an extraordinary personal essay about one of the most stunning sections of the country."
"The prose soars in natural and physical description, whether Nichols reads a river for trout or exults in the sensuous details of lovemaking upon the earth."
--The Milwaukee Journal