Reviews

{For summaries and comments, look in the “News/Blog” section}

Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, 18:3, Winter 2014-15:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14688417.2014.966564 (subscription required)

World Literature Today, May-August 2014:

http://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2014/may-august/facing-change-personal-encounters-global-warming#.U3E7r53D_IV

Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment (ISLE), Winter 2014:

http://isle.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/208.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=KQj6OdvkfySv0wD

Booklist, October 2013:

“[Editor Steven Pavlos] Holmes, a scholar in environmental humanities, has assembled a rich, varied collection of personal accounts and poems that conveys ‘individual, emotional, even spiritual’ feelings about living with manmade climate change, and ‘what those changes and feelings mean to us.’ Written at different times and places over the last decade, these works include Jill Riddell’s midwestern, tragicomic regrets at needing a ‘Pearl Harbor moment,’ part of her ‘heroic fantasies . . . to feel unified with other Americans’ concerned with climate change. But she concludes that ‘unheroic, everyday changes . . . may lead to success.’ New Mexico’s Jim O’Donnell laments the ‘Red Flag’ days of relentless wind that destroyed his roof and his sense of safety, leading him to survivalist imaginings. Oregon poet Kristen Berger grieves her daughter’s delight with the increasingly scarce walrus, one of too many ‘disappearing wonders,’ while Maine’s Roxana Robinson worries about ‘unseasonal fluctuations’ of January temperatures symbolized in ‘her’ snowshoe hare’s ineffective protective coloration. An artistic and intimate approach to the problem that humanizes our concerns.”

Publishers Weekly, October 2013:

“Amidst the current deluge of statistics about global warming, [Facing the Change] provides a refreshing look at how individuals are affected. The contributors, a mix of poets and essayists, concentrate on small changes in nature, as well as the ways they cope with the immensity of the problem. Some describe concrete changes such as hanging laundry out to dry or splitting wood; others relay deeper reactions. For example, Willow Fagan writes in “Beyond Denial” that [he] finds comfort in the belief that “there is an order so much vaster…than we can comprehend, which nothing we do can threaten.” There are personal accounts of real events; an encounter with a starving bear, and parents trying to teach children about ecology without giving them nightmares. Contributors also look toward the future; in the poem [“Wrath of Human upon Gaia”], Quynh Nguyen writes, “I want to apologize for my actions before I leave.” This is a beautiful book to keep near, open at random, and share the words of gifted writers as they prepare for the coming changes.

Advance Praise for Facing the Change

Facing the Change registers the impact of climate destabilization, not only on the sky above us and the earth beneath our feet, but also within our hearts. The voices in this eloquent and original book convey the dread and grief, the anger, but also the experiences of love and community that are intensified by the defining ecological challenge of our time. I feel personally grateful for this timely, eloquent book.”
JOHN ELDER, author of Reading the Mountains of Home, editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing

Facing the Change shares the stories of some of the many people in the U.S. and the world who are already witnessing climate change here and now. They are giving us early warning signs; it’s up to all of us to act now.” —MAY BOEVE, executive director of 350.org

How do you respond when the familiar, benevolent, and predictable world you count on becomes strange, hostile, and chaotic? First, you must face it. Next, bear witness. Steven Holmes has gathered compelling testimonies about the ways our earthly home is changing in the short space of our own lifetimes. They beg us to pay attention and act. We are wise to heed these passionate voices.”
CHIP WARD, author of Hope’s Horizon: Three Visions For Healing The American Land

“These earnest and heartfelt poems, essays, and imaginings change our discourse from data to personal testimony, channeling ‘care and concern.’ Maybe, just maybe, these authors who call us to ‘unheroic’ action ‘on life’s behalf’ will steer us away from tragedy and chaos.”
STEPHEN TRIMBLE, author of Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America

“Who will speak out to stop climate change?  Our ‘elected’ leaders are shamefully, cravenly silent.  Scientists are trying to be heard, but half the population doesn’t listen to science.  The planet screams warnings in the language of tornadoes and firestorms and crashing ice, but we have no translators.   It’s up to us—ordinary people who speak from their own experience of climate change and their own broken hearts.  Thus, Facing the Change is a deeply important book.  It gives us stories—unbearably sad or sly and funny or even seditious—from those who are called to witness.”
KATHLEEN DEAN MOORE, co-editor of Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

“These eloquent stories, essays, and poems by scores of ‘emotional and cultural first responders’ to the effects of climate change are sure to deliver a powerful wake-up call to anyone who has supposed that nothing an individual person can say or do will affect this impending disaster.”
LAWRENCE BUELL, author of The Environmental Imagination

“How could anyone describe a ‘personal encounter with global warming’? The very idea of encapsulating the vastness of climate within the intimacy of story seems paradoxical. But we are realizing these days that what we need, as we seek to mobilize public attention, reform petroleum-based lifestyles, and exert pressure on policymakers in pursuit of ‘350 ppm’ (or less), is not more information about the science of global climate change, but more apprehension of the meaning, the emotional salience, of this environmental phenomenon. In a sense, we need to invent a new language to help us visualize the data, to make it real. Steven Pavlos Holmes and the contributors to Facing the Change have begun to reveal the experiential heart of a planetary process. This is a truly important project.”
SCOTT SLOVIC,editor of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

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