Barkskins by Annie Proulx: An epic (and ongoing) story of extraction

Barkskins: A Novel Barkskins tells the intertwined and intergenerational stories of the natives and immigrants of the North American territory once known as New France. Because this novel takes place over more than 300 years, there are quite a few stories to tell; I found myself frequently consulting the two lengthy family trees in the appendix to keep track of …

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Book Review: Lab Girl

I approached Hope Jahren’s memoir, Lab Girl, with a bit of trepidation. You see, Jahren is an award-winning geobiologist who studies plants, making her area of expertise one in which I’ve never had much interest. (Confession: I can’t tell an oak from a maple or a peony from a petunia.) So when The New York …

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Story Magazine accepting submissions for Un/Natural World issue

Story Magazine is accepting submissions of prose for a new issue devoted to the environment: Climate change is one of the most significant issues of our time. How do we tell stories of it? How do its stories inform us? For Issue #4, send your best work in any form that explores the natural and built worlds here …

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Film Review: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Okay, so this isn’t a book review — but it’s such an important documentary that I wanted to review it here on EcoLit Books. (The book connection: As you watch the film, you’ll learn about a few books to add to your reading list, including Comfortably Unaware and The World Peace Diet.) Cowspiracy (which is currently still available for …

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The Necessary Evolution of Environmental Writing

Halfway through reading The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston, I came across the following passage: A new danger, moreover, now threatens the birds at sea. An irreducible residue of crude oil, called by refiners ‘slop,’ remains in stills after oil distribution, and this is …

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Book Review: A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Reading A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold I am struck time and again by how contemporary it feels. This is a testament to Leopold, who wrote this book back in the late 1940s, yet clearly had future generations in mind. Leopold saw the environmental issues we are struggling with today because he was struggling with similar issues in his time. During his life …

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Book Review: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

People of a certain age (myself included) remember growing up outside. Our families opened the doors, shooed us out, and shut them again, leaving us free to wander through our neighborhoods, parks, and/or wild places, making up our own games. I have particularly vivid memories of being let loose on the beaches of Southern California, …

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Siskiyou Prize update – new award, extended deadline

The winner of the Siskiyou Prize, in addition to a cash prize of $1,000 and book publication, will also receive a four-week residency at the PLAYA retreat in central Oregon. PLAYA is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences, and other fields of creative inquiry. On the edge of the Great Basin in central …

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Falling In Love With Trees

Seeing Trees Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees. Timber Press, 2011 By Nancy Ross Hugo Photography by Robert Llewellyn “The most effective way to save the threatened and decimated natural world is to cause people to fall in love with it again, with its beauty and reality.” Author Nancy Ross Hugo quotes British naturalist Peter …

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