Vast, arid, and lonesome, Colorado's high plains have secrets to tell. In this exclusive excerpt from their new book West of Last Chance, best-selling author Kent Haruf and photographer Peter Brown capture their stories.

December 2007

Each loved the High Plains in their own way—photographer Peter Brown haunted by the endless skies, the way the light fell; novelist Kent Haruf tending to the overheard conversations and small-town tales reminiscent of the fictional town of Holt from his novel Plainsong. After collaborating on a cover for one of Haruf's books, the two decided to partner for an homage to the West they knew. Across days and seasons and vast stretches of open country, their collection of essays and images turned into a book. Here, an exclusive excerpt of West of Last Chance (2007, W.W. Norton and Company), released this month.