Back To the Source

In 2009, Boulder-based writer Tracy Ross, senior editor for Backpacker Magazine, won a National Magazine Award for her essay “The Source of All Things,” a story quite unlike any of the tales of adventure she’d previously written about. The essay centered on a hike she took as an adult with her stepfather to Redfish Lake in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, where she would confront him with questions about the sexual abuse that began there when she was a child and continued until she was a teenager. She’s now turned that essay into a full-length memoir, and there’s more forgiveness and reconciliation in the book than you might expect.

“For me, forgiveness is a continuum: It’s not like a pretty little package that you wrap a bow around and tie a balloon to, and in this case, it’s forgiveness with a whole new set of rules,” says Ross. “Redfish Lake was the setting for the best possible moments I ever had, the most beautiful moments that were defining me as a kid, and that just got completely fucked up in every possible way. And yet it’s still such a powerful place for me, and such a draw, and so instructive. I couldn’t help but go back there. It’s the literal and metaphoric source of everything in my world.”

Ross will read from and sign copies of her book at 7:30 p.m. at Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. For more info, got to
Wed., March 16, 7:30 p.m., 2011