Nebraska Center for Writers

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About Gregory Martin


Mountain City
Copyright © 2000
by Gregory Martin
North Point Press

By the end of Gregory Martin's affecting account, only thirty-one people live in remote Mountain City, Nevada, and none of them are children. The town's abandoned mines are testimony to the cycle of promise, exploitation, abandonment, and attrition that has been the repeated story of the West.
Yet the comings and goings at Tremewan's, the general store Martin's family has run for more than forty years, reveal a remarkably vibrant community that includes salty widows, Native Americans from a nearby reservation, and a number of Martin's deeply idiosyncratic Basque-descended relatives. Martin observes them as they persist in a difficult but rewarding existence, celebrating the large and small dramas of their lives and their attachment to a place that seems likely to disappear in his lifetime. — from the jacket

... Mountain City ... is the winter view from northern Nevada. More than anything, the old need to be touched ... — New York Times Book Review

In the rural West we're sometimes lucky and get the good books we deserve: Old Jules, Housekeeping, The Meadow, and now Mountain City. Northern Elko County is its own nation, and this is its sweet, ironic anthem. — William Kittredge

Mountain City is at the crossroads of the Western heart — the specific old loved place amid life's inexorable routes to elsewhere. With a jeweler's eye and a descendant's respectful affection, Gregory Martin has caught the cadences of life and lingo in this little Nevada spot that still counts for so much in the American story. — Ivan Doig

In prose as clear and full of light as the Western sky, Mountain City presents a way of life once common in America, now fading like a sunset. This book simmers with insight and wisdom about family — and a few good jokes, too. — Chris Offutt

Gregory Martin draws a gently humorous, sensitive sketch of Mountain City and its crusty citizens. — Evan S Connell

Rarely is the story of a place and its people told with such exacting lyricism, clarity and love. Gregory Martin has such a refined eye and ear that this book, composed from mosaic chips of memory, accumulates into one of the most beautiful and significant portraits of an extended family living and dying in the American West that I have ever read. — Alison Hawthorne Deming

Gregory Martin has illuminated the lives of the residents of Mountain City, Nevada, like the pages of a medieval manuscript. They glow from within. The book is a classic - simple, elegant, and devastating. — Richard Shelton

In the enchanting microcosm that is Mountain City, author Gregory Martin has captured the character of Basques everywhere. — Robert Laxalt

... well written, sweet, yet unsentimental, telling the shared history of a community that's vanishing. — USA Today

A crisp elegy to an almost-vanished American West. — Entertainment Weekly

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