Praise for the book

“In this concise, compelling account of a fallen paradise, Stringfellow describes the Salton Sea as ‘a study of contrasts, a compendium of the unexpected and ephemeral....’ The photograph Abandoned Trailer makes the point stunningly. Its subject—an oxidized, encrusted metal shell—sits sunken in a broad pool of liquid rust, the water’s edges salty and crystalline. Green buzzes against orange, the sky’s sharp, clean blue putting a cap on the friction. The ‘sublime and surreal beauty’ that captivated Stringfellow has pungent origins: brine and bacteria in the water, industrial and agricultural runoff that have made the sea an ecological mutant, littered with corroded debris.... Stringfellow does a persuasive job of articulating the area’s blight in her photographs. In her text, she also addresses the region’s promise, if restoration efforts succeed.”

– Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times

“Kim Stringfellow’s book charts a ten year obsession with the peculiar Salton Sea in the deep desert of southern California. This is an odyssey about an oddity, the condensed story of the peculiarities that people and landscape can inspire in each other when topography and money collide....The area’s story is as instructive as it is deeply American, and Stringfellow tells it well, deploying conventional historical text and retrieved artifacts, as well as well-realized color photography of the area as it stands today. The book, which is drawn from an original installation, is laid out like a handbook to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Salton Sea over time, chronicling the series of disjointed visions and somewhat haphazard events that produced the strange, ruinous present-day sea. Stringfellow is to be commended for going beyond a standard denunciation of human hubris in the western landscape, though.... Her purpose is to highlight the irrevocable bond between human and natural ecologies, and the responsibilities we unwittingly take on when we try to bend reality to match our dreams.”

– Phil Harris, Photo-Eye Booklist

“The Salton Sea is one of the great conundrums for our time—a new place already in ruins, a toxic place that is also a wild bird refuge, a strange mix of debris and sublimity that Kim Stringfellow’s pictures and history portray compellingly.”

– Rebecca Solnit, author of River of Shadows and other books

“Kim Stringfellow’s odyssey into the Salton Sea excavates cultural relics and treasures that surprise and astound. She weaves the fragments, tatters, and shards that she found into a salty tale that makes one nostalgic for the sea’s future, something that seems always around the bend. She has added an eloquent new exhibit to this museum of decay.”

– Matthew Coolidge, Director, Center for Land Use Interpretation

“With a cover photograph drenched in radioactive colors and irony, this book rests in the hands like a live grenade. Did we pull the pin? How long do we have…? Stringfellow lets the tragic saga of Salton Sea speak for itself in brief chapters that unfold with a novelist’s flair and a scientist’s precision.”

– Ann Jarmusch, San Diego Union-Tribune

“Stringfellow’s project documents the hopeful and remarkable capacity of migratory birds to adapt and use the new lakes, which were created when a dam in the Colorado River broke in 1905.... Her engagement evinces a quality of attention and detail that illuminates without simplifying and invites our intuitions, interest, and collective problem-solving abilities.”

– Natalie Jeremijenko, SEED Magazine

“At first glance, Greetings from the Salton Sea, Kim Stringfellow’s publication, is magnetic. The cover depicts an enlivened and radically unique image of phosphorescent decay, and practically screams for attention. However Stringfellow transcends the potentially hazardous content to create a stimulating and provocative work, both accessible and attractive in its vibrant, hardcover package.... Stringfellow’s work deserves the intrigue it inspires, and succeeds in satisfying any potential angle of inquiry.... Stringfellow’s work is a captivating and comprehensive response to this dilemma, and Greetings from the Salton Sea is an insightful, multifaceted, and penetrating book.”

– Veronica O’Keefe, Photography Quarterly