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Tracks Along The Left Coast

Jaime de Angulo & the Pacific Coast

List Price: $26.00

May 23, 2017 | Hardcover | 6 x 9, 240 pages | ISBN 9781619029255

More than an immersive tale of the picaresque life of cowboy linguist, doctor, ethnographer, and author Jaime de Angulo— the Old Coyote of Big Sur—but an exploration of the persecuted Native Californian cultures and languages that had thrived for millennia and endured into his day.

Jaime de Angulo’s linguistic and ethnographic work, his writings, as well as the legends that cloak the Old Coyote himself, vividly reflect the particulars of the Pacific coast. His poetry and prose uniquely represented the bohemian sensibility of the twenties, thirties and forties, and he was known for his reworkings of coyote tales and shamanic mysticism. So vivid was his writing that Ezra Pound called him “the American Ovid,” and William Carlos Williams claimed that de Angulo was “one of the most outstanding writers I have ever encountered.”

In each retelling, through each storyteller, stories are continually revivified, and that is precisely what Andrew Schelling has done in Tracks Along the Left Coast, weaving together the story of a life with the story of the land and the people, languages, and cultures with whom it is so closely tied.

JAIME DE ANGULO was a cowboy, cattle rancher, horse-tamer, medical doctor, psychologist, and linguist. A friend and colleague of Carl Jung, Henry Miller, and D.H. Lawrence, de Angulo was the author of several books.

Poet and translator, ANDREW SCHELLING has written or edited twenty books. For more than twenty years he has been on the faculty of Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School, and he also teaches at Deer Park Institute, in Himachal Pradesh, India.


“Schelling’s biography of Jaime de Angulo—‘cattle puncher, medical doctor, bohemian, buckeroo,’ among other things—presents a fascinating, full-bodied portrait of a man and an era, as well as delving deep into California’s Native history. De Angulo’s isn’t a household name, but in Schelling’s work the man called by Ezra Pound the ‘American Ovid’ comes blazing to life in all his singular brilliance.” —Stephen Sparks, Lithub

“Jaime de Angulo! If you could corral into one volume all the legends he inspired, you would already have given us a book worth reading, but poet Andrew Schelling has been able, in this magnificent, long-awaited biography, to reshape the myth into a human being. In a larger frame, Tracks Along the West Coast illustrates something of the troubling ease with which Modernism, hand in hand with the new science of anthropology, fixed and adapted what it imagined as ‘the Primitive.’ As his personal evanescence flickered and burned through the decades, de Angulo shot direction into the skies; we see why generations of Western poets, musicians, and artists were drawn to him, beyond that brilliant intellect. Through California foothills his horse galloped him, naked but for a jockstrap: if you blinked you would miss him.” —Kevin Killian, author of Poet Be Like God and Impossible Princess

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