The Marvels of the World: An Anthology of Nature Writing Before 1700. Edited by Rebecca Bushnell
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
Poet Joy Harjo writes of the "voices buried in the Mississippi/mud" (93). Peggy Franklin profiles women reluctantly thrust into environmental activism, a la Louis Gibbs. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild captures the paradox of people hating Cancer Alley pollution but resenting government intervention. General Honore ´told Justin Nobel "we [Louisiana] are the second largest energy producer, but are the second poorest state. Now what the fuck is wrong with that picture?" (349) In his foreword, Bill
... Kibben writes that he thinks of the area as a sacrifice zone and that, "predictably, the poorest and most vulnerable are the first to be sacrificed, which is why they are often leading the fight against it" (xii). But Bush and Goodman resist that term, or see the texts they have compiled as part of the effort to resist that outcome. The anthology concludes at a kind of beginning, with historian Jack Davis's discussion of the Narvaez expedition, chronicled by Cabeza de Vaca, conquistadores looking for treasure but misunderstanding people and place, a pattern that would continue forward. This wellresearched and thoroughly accessible compendium aims to correct such misunderstanding, useful for courses in environmental writing and studies, climate change, or for anyone wishing to learn more about the complexities of the Gulf region, its threatened ecosystems, and its resilient communities.