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National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Most of us watch with mild concern the fast-disappearing wild spaces or the recurrence of pollution-related crises such as oil spills, toxic blooms in fertilizer-enriched forests, and violence both home and abroad. Joy Williams does more than watch. In this collection of condemnations and love letters, revelations and cries for help, she brings to light the price of complacency with scathing wit and unexpected humor. Sounding the alarm over the disconnection from the natural world that our consumer culture has created, she takes on subjects as varied as the culling of elephants, electron-probed chimpanzees, vanishing wetlands, and the determination of American women to reproduce at any cost. Controversial, opinionated, at times exceptionally moving, Ill Nature is a clarion call for us to step out of our cars and cubicles, and do something to save our natural legacy.
“Enchanting and explosive.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Glows with fire-and-brimstone passion.”—The Boston Globe
“Rise[s] above the din of dreary environmental writing and smack[s] us in the face with the sorry state of our natural affairs.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Joy Williams’ essays . . . manage to articulate with wit, elegance, intelligence, and appropriate disdain, the enterprise in which we are all implicated.”—W. S. Merwin
“Joy Williams has been one of our best writers for ever so long, and now she has written a scorcher: a truth-teller’s expedition, and true to the heart.”—Edward Hoagland