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.
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.
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.
Gregory Martin draws a gently humorous, sensitive sketch of Mountain City and its crusty
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.
In the enchanting microcosm that is Mountain City, author Gregory Martin has captured
the character of Basques everywhere.
... 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