Waterston – Kendra Atleework

Waterston Desert Writing Prize

Kendra Atleework – 2017 Finalist

Finalist Kendra Atleework proposed a project titled “Sweetwater: Life and Change in the Rain Shadow of the Sierra Nevada.” In February of 2015, a wildfire raged through the brush that covers the floor of Owens Valley, sparing her childhood house but reducing many neighbors’ homes to ash. Part memoir, part travel narrative, and part researched investigation, the proposal follows the rebuilding process while journeying through the public, personal, and natural history of Owens Valley, a place of extremes.

Born and raised in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California, Atleework is at work on a book that expands on her essay “Charade,” which appeared in The Best American Essays 2015. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, the writer Jonas Gardsby.