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Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect (Literature Now) Hardcover – 17 Jun 2014


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The "ecosickness" that Heather Houser explores in " Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction" offers yet another example of the dangers of humanity's efforts to "master" nature. The novels and memoirs she studies demonstrate the intricate connections between somatic and ecological damage. But it is the literary critical argument that most distinguishes this work. Houser elegantly shows how these novels and memoirs produce narratives with unpredictable affects and how that unpredictability in turn generates an ethics that, she argues, might lead to new ways of addressing ecological damage. This timely book is crucial not only for its ecocritical insights, but for its depiction of the importance of humanistic inquiry to planetary ethics.--Priscilla Wald, Duke University, author of "Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative"

This sophisticated reconnaissance of an impressive range of turn-of-the-twenty-first-century works both adroitly builds upon and convincingly takes issue with the new 'materialist' ecocriticism by offering a subtly compelling assessment of the place of affect in works of environmental imagination and environmental intervention generally. Not contemporary U.S. fiction specialists alone, but ecocritics in all bailiwicks are sure to profit from Heather Houser's insights.--Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

The 'ecosickness' that Heather Houser explores offers yet another example of the dangers of humanity's efforts to 'master' nature. The novels and memoirs she studies demonstrate the intricate connections between somatic and ecological damage. Yet it is the literary critical argument that most distinguishes this work. Houser elegantly shows how these novels and memoirs produce narratives with unpredictable affects and how that unpredictability in turn generates an ethics that, she argues, might lead to new ways of addressing ecological damage. This timely book is crucial not only for its ecocritical insights, but for its depiction of the importance of humanistic inquiry to planetary ethics.--Priscilla Wald, Duke University, author of "Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative"

This sophisticated reconnaissance of an impressive range of turn-of-the-twenty-first-century works both adroitly builds upon and convincingly takes issue with the new 'materialist' ecocriticism by offering a subtly compelling assessment of the place of affect in works of environmental imagination and environmental intervention generally. Not contemporary U.S. fiction specialists alone, but ecocritics in all bailiwicks are sure to profit from Heather Houser's insights.

--Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

The 'ecosickness' that Heather Houser explores offers yet another example of the dangers of humanity's efforts to 'master' nature. The novels and memoirs she studies demonstrate the intricate connections between somatic and ecological damage. Yet it is the literary critical argument that most distinguishes this work. Houser elegantly shows how these novels and memoirs produce narratives with unpredictable affects and how that unpredictability in turn generates an ethics that, she argues, might lead to new ways of addressing ecological damage. This timely book is crucial not only for its ecocritical insights, but for its depiction of the importance of humanistic inquiry to planetary ethics.

--Priscilla Wald, Duke University, author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative

About the Author

Heather Houser is associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.

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