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The Devil's Highway

The Devil's Highway
On the Road in the American West

A haunting collection of photographs documenting the changing landscape and culture of the American West.

Briscoe Center
July 2022
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168 pages | 12 x 9.5 | 86 photographs |

With this haunting new collection of photographs, Joan Myers continues the decades-long journey she began in Where the Buffalo Roamed (with Lucy Lippard), documenting the changing landscape and culture of the American West. The images in this new collection are more personal, more elegiac—and all black-and-white. They bear witness to the fracturing of the American Dream, the demise of cowboy culture, and the shrinking of small towns, ranches, and farms throughout western rural America. The themes she examines are reflected in The Devil’s Highway, a powerfully evocative short story by Pulitzer finalist William deBuys, first published in 1992 in Story magazine and reproduced here for the first time. Myers and deBuys previously collaborated on Salt Dreams: Land and Water in Low-Down California, which inspired the highly acclaimed film, The Colorado.

Myers has spent much of her time roaming the American West, but has also worked in India, the Canary Islands, Antarctica, Java, Sicily, Sardinia, Hawaii, and more. Her extensive photo archive is now housed at the Briscoe Center for American History on the University of Texas at Austin campus.


Joan Myers has been photographing for more than forty-five years. Her highly acclaimed work has been the subject of three Smithsonian exhibitions, more than fifty solo and eight group shows, and eleven books.

William deBuys is the author of ten books, a Pulitzer Prize nonfiction finalist, and the recipient of a 2008–2009 Guggenheim Fellowship.