Man Facing West is a moving story of personal commitment to the causes of peace, rural development, and ecology.
Author Don Gayton chronicles an American childhood infused with guns, Republican politics, and political dissent. Joining the Peace Corps spawns his enduring interest in small-scale agriculture and rural values. Later, Gayton comes home to confront the moral quagmire of Vietnam and the Draft. Becoming a passionate Canadian, he rediscovers his original attachment to the rugged and heartbreakingly beautiful ecologies and landscapes of the Canadian and American West.
Man Facing West merges fiction and non-fiction, stitched together with threads of autobiography. As he probes politics, conscience, ecology, and history, we are reminded of Gayton’s uncanny ability to transform reality into magic.
“Journeys and returns are the life of the eminent ecologist Don Gayton. He has spent his life dedicated to the land, the living thing that inhabits the range of his heart and mind. Each chapter of this book is a story. They spring from his life but they are not biography and not memoir, rather, they are more musings than memories, intimate revelations offering the reader a passionate life. It is a welcome book by a man committed to the land we share.”
— Patrick Lane,
author of What the Stones Remember/There is a Season
Praise for The Wheatgrass Mechanism
“Don Gayton has the eye of a scientist and the soul of a poet.”
— Stuart McLean, CBC Radio
Don Gayton is the author of five books of non-fiction: The Wheatgrass Mechanism, Landscapes of the Interior, Kokanee, Interwoven Wild: An Ecologist Loose in the Garden, and Okanagan Odyssey. His writing has garnered several awards, including the US National Outdoor Book Award, the Canadian Science Writer’s award, and two shortlistings for the BC Book Awards. He was the Roderick Haig-Brown Writer in Residence at the University of Victoria in 2009.