ISLE review: FTC is “a rich, refreshing, and much-needed collection”

Another brief but thoughtful review of FTC is in the Winter 2014 issue of ISLE (the journal of ASLE, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment), available both in paper and online:

According to reviewer Stephen Siperstein, “I used the book to great success in a first-year humanities seminar on climate change; the students connected more easily with the perspectives offered by the authors in this volume than they did with more traditional climate ‘experts’ like Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, or Al Gore. Of course, the contributors to this book are climate change ‘experts’ in their own right, and as Holmes notes, these authors—diverse in age, profession, class, gender, and geographic location—are our emotional and cultural first responders to climate change’ (2). ”

Moreover, Siperstein pinpoints the book’s “most important quality” as follows: “It does not prescribe what we should think or what we should feel about climate change. Instead, it presents a range of honest responses and leaves it up to us to weigh the possibilities.”

The review concludes with some appropriate critique and an interesting challenge:

“The book’s only significant limitation is its inclusion of mostly US writers. This skews the collection’s overall perspective of climate change to that of the global north. ‘Personal encounters’ with climate change from Massachusetts or Oregon would read much differently (and perhaps even more powerfully) in conjunction with personal encounters from China or Kenya, for example. With any luck, this collection should inspire a second volume or other similar projects.”

Any takers?