Jessica Bruder


You’ve probably already made up your mind about Burning Man—either you get off on the idea and you’ve tried it, or you’ve rolled your eyes and scoffed. Still, Bruder’s Burning Book: a Visual History of Burning Man, an opulently illustrated celebration of the communal party/art festival/exercise in radical Utopianism that takes place annually the week before Labor Day in the desert of northwestern Nevada, will serve to convince anyone who might be curious. A reporter for The Oregonian, Bruder draws on years of personal experience and extensive interviews; she surrounds the photos with vivid and alluring prose which captures the atmosphere, as well as any words can, of an event that works very hard to be uncapturable in words. Like Burning Man itself, her book is spontaneous and well-organized, thoughtful and frivolous, sweeping and intimate. At Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., 525-2347,, 7 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 9; also at Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 624-6600,, 7:30 p.m. Mon., Aug. 13.

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