“Air Mail is the record of an epistolary friendship forged in a time of political peril, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. These letters are pure outpourings of deep thought and daily life, sent back and forth across the Continental Divide, missives ‘as necessary as air, beautiful and maternal and brutal all at once.’ Houston and Irvine reveal the ferocity of women who have made their lives in the wilderness and by the pen, the depths of wisdom hard-won, survival and what it cost, and all of this in a language where horse hooves can be heard thundering. They invite us to read our precarious moment in the light of conscience, as they excavate the layers of denial and historical amnesia that have kept us from knowing who we are, and then with determination and grace, they envision our possible future.”
—CAROLYN FORCHÉ, author of In the Lateness of the World
When the state of Colorado ordered its residents to shelter in place in response to the spread of coronavirus, writers Pam Houston and Amy Irvine—who had never met—began a correspondence based on their shared devotion to the rugged, windswept mountains that surround their homes, one on either side of the Continental Divide. As the numbers of infected and dead rose and the nation split dangerously over the crisis, Houston and Irvine found their letters to one another as necessary as breath. Part tribute to wilderness, part indictment against tyranny and greed, Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place reveals the evolution of a friendship that galvanizes as it chronicles a strange new world.