Getting Over the Color Green
Contemporary Environmental Literature of the Southwest
Desert vistas are often deemed vacant, inhospitable wastelands. Don't suggest that to Joy Harjo, Pat Mora, or other contemporary southwestern writers. In these arid stretches, often devoid of green, today's southwestern writers see pyrotechnic colors and Gothic shapes that excite and often overwhelm the imagination. And they capture this excitement in words that fix these desert images in the minds of readers who may too often look at the world through green-colored glasses. This anthology of contemporary nature writing from the Greater Southwest brings together a host of writers including peers of Edward Abbey such as Charles Bowden and Ann Zwinger and representatives of a new generation of writers such as Rick Bass and Terry Tempest Williams. The book is an eclectic blend of nonfiction and fiction, field notes and poetry, through which artists of diverse backgrounds both celebrate and illuminate the unique vitality and complexity of southwestern literature— proving that green is only one of many colors on their palette. The selections included here range all across the southwestern landscape and explore adventures in the wild, topics in natural history, living close to the land, and efforts at conservation and restoration. They clearly demonstrate that there is grace and beauty in this often-maligned part of the world— both in the human traditions that have developed in the region and in the natural features of the desert itself.
"This ambitious anthology . . . gives naturalists a field day for expressing themselves. . . . An enlightening read for those who want to connect knowingly and accountably with our high-desert surroundings." Santa Fe New Mexican"This is a collection of journeys, experiences, dreams, and historiespersonal, cultural, and natural. All demonstrate that literature is alive and well and intimately regional; all demonstrate that the modifier 'environmental' creates a larger view for writers, integrating their commitments to place and people." Bloomsbury Review"A rich collection of environmental writing from a remarkably diverse group of contemporary southwestern authors . . . Longtime southwesterners will become reacquainted with old friends, while newcomers are introduced to many of the Southwest's finest nature writers." Journal of Arizona History"This volume is full of good things. . . . The authors Slovic has chosen embody much of the best hopes and the best thinking about the West." Western American Literature"Should find a permanent place on reading lists of courses in Western or Southwestern American literature and is an excellent choice for composition courses with an environmental theme." ISLE