An honest and vulnerable meditation on the trauma of life in contemporary Colorado, put to the page with uncommon grace and insight. Prijatel is a compassionate guide in exploring that chaotic time. Most important, she offers hope for recovery and resilience.

Laura Pritchett, Author, Sky Bridge, winner of the WILLA Award

A tiny cabin in a remote Colorado mountain valley. Off the grid, built by hand by the family who lives there, in a land that’s silent, wild, and beautiful—until June 2013 and the East Peak Fire. The cabin survived, but the woodlands became a burn-scarred landscape of splintered trunks and blackened branches. This is the story of how author Patricia Prijatel and her family and neighbors escaped the fire. More important, it’s about what came after, as the ruin of the land and its people grew: flash floods on eroded land, invasive weeds crowding out grass and seedlings, hurricane-level winds breaking healthy trees, dangerous orphaned animals, toxic air, and stress leading to life-threatening diseases.

Burn Scars: A Memoir of the Land and Its Loss (Clementine Press) is about a love of the land, of hope challenging despair, of grief, and resilience. With searing honesty, Prijatel chronicles life on her 35 acres of paradise and ties it to an unprecedented transition for America’s natural forests, the life they nurture, and the people witnessing their tragic loss. Her story serves as a love song, a warning, and a glimpse of the future as wildfires remake the places we’ve loved.  

An elegy and a wake-up call. Prijatel writes a deeply personal and wrenching story of loss that touches us all. Like fire, her memoir is a reckoning that urges us to examine our priorities and recognize our first allegiance is to the earth, our one true home.” Karen Auvinen, Author, Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living

A moving meditation on our connection to the land, and a potent wake up call to the devastating effects of climate change.” Tanja Pajevic, Author, The Secret Life of Grief, winner of Nautilus Silver Award

An important story. Prijatel chronicles her personal journey of loss and climate grief that touches our collective experience. But it is also a story of healing, for as we face this crisis, we are challenged to discover a resilience within ourselves and in the generative power of nature.” Leslie Davenport, Author, Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change




Patricia Prijatel is a journalism educator and writer whose goal is to help people make sense of things with hope and humor. Her last name is the Slovene word for friend. She’s the author of three books: Burn Scars, a Memoir of the Land and Its Loss (Clementine Press),Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (Oxford University Press), and The Magazine from Cover to Cover (Oxford University Press). She has written nearly a thousand articles for publications including Psychology Today, Better Homes and Gardens, Diabetic Living, Cure, and Print.

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