Barry Lopez (1945-2020) in conversation with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff, recorded November 30, 2000 while on tour for the collection of short stories, Light Action in the Caribbean.
Barry Lopez, who died on December 25, 2020 at the age of 75, was a master of the short form, both fiction and non-fiction. His non-fiction, collected in such books as Arctic Dreams and his last published work, Horizon, and his fiction in collections such as Light Action in the Caribbean and Resistance, focused on exploration, biology, morality, transcendence, biology, politics, philosophy and much more.
In this first of three Cover to Cover/Bookwaves interviews with Barry Lopez, he discusses in detail how he works on short fiction, as well as the politics and politicians of the era. There are points where it sounds as if he’s speaking of the events of 2020, and the prescience is uncanny.
While initial reports indicated that Barry Lopez died from prostate cancer, the Washington Post revealed that there was more to it. In September of 2020, his beloved home in the Cascade Moujntains between Bend and Eugene, Oregon was destroyed in the massive fires that ravaged Oregon. Lost were all his original manuscripts, his artwork, and all that he’d collected from his journeys over the years. Shortly thereafter, he began developing cardiac issues that contributed to his death.
This interview was digitized and edited during the last week of December, 2020, and the entire recording has never seen the light of day until now.