Literary Las Vegas: “Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State”


Readers can celebrate Nevada’s 150th birthday with the official Nevada Sesquicentennial book, “Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State.” Local author Geoff Schumacher brought together contributions from more than 70 writers — journalists, novelists, historians and more — to explore the state’s legacy, from neon and mining to ranching and gaming. The book profiles each of Nevada’s 17 counties, its natural landmarks and its unique character.

A book launch is scheduled at 7 p.m. June 12 at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. Schumacher is slated to be joined by several of the book’s contributors, including Patty Cafferata, Scott Dickensheets, Dayvid Figler and Michael Green. For more information, visit lvccld.org.

Schumacher, who serves as director of content development for the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, The Mob Museum, is also set to sign books from 1 to 5 p.m. June 14 in the museum’s retail store at 300 Stewart Ave. Admission to the signing is free. For details, visit themobmuseum.org.

For more on the book, visit www.nvbooks.nevada.edu.

Excerpt:

Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State is, for the most part, a history. It delves into the state’s nineteenth century origins, its twentieth century triumphs, and its twenty-first century challenges. But the book does not limit itself to a chronological recitation of the past 150 years. Today’s Nevada in all its ragged glory is well represented throughout, particularly in a dozen personal essays falling under the heading, “My Nevada.”

Richard Menzies writes of the places where few bother to tread: “I’m in love with those parts of Nevada that are sparsely populated and seldom visited — in other words most of it. I find nothing more exhilarating than having a road all to myself, where I can go as slow as I want and daydream to my heart’s content.”

Andrew Kiraly celebrates a different flavor of desolation — the litter-strewn vacant lots of Las Vegas: “Dumping grounds and eyesores to most, these patchwork deserts are gateways. You will always find something here — perhaps broken, perhaps dead, but always enlivening.”

Nevada’s landscape is a prominent recurring character, but the people, from regular folks to the world’s most famous figures, give this story its narrative force.

 

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