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Comment: Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Date of Publication: 2005
Binding: hardcover
Condition: Fine/Fine
Description: 0820327441 (w)
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Converging Stories: Race, Ecology, and Environmental Justice in American Literature Hardcover – August 29, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"The focus in Myers's work on the nineteenth century is an important one indeed for ecocriticism and makes a sorely needed contribution to the field, especially as it recovers the notion of 'ecocentricity' as a stance that requires environmentalists to view social justice as inseparable from their traditional concerns. Converging Stories is flawlessly written, and therefore a pleasure to read."--Joni Adamson, author of American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism: The Middle Place

"This brief monograph packs a provocative interpretation of a body of important works frequently read in isolation, and in so doing, opens the whole of American nature writing to fruitful reconsideration."--Virginia Magazine

About the Author

Jeffrey Myers is an assistant professor of English at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (August 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820327441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820327440
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,446,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Henry Berry on August 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Myers--assistant professor of English at Manhattan College--explores the roots of his belief that "racial oppression and environmental destruction [are] inherently and historically related" by critiques of the founding views toward nature in American society--Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" and Thoreau's "Walden." With his deconstructive treatment of these, Myers discloses that these two influential authors set up a bifurcated scheme leaving nature and individuals apart from one another, with individuals having mastery over nature. This "bifurcation" based on Thoreau's ideas of social reform and environmentalism in his writings "reproduces the human/nature duality at the root of ecological and racial hegemony." Thoreau came to feel uneasy about this bifurcation; but he never explicitly renounced it or went beyond it even implicitly in his writings. To find expressions of the harmony, rather than the duality, between the human and nature inextricably bound in with real equality, Myers turns to works by Native Americans, but also by African Americans and some American authors of European heritage. African Americans essentially and intuitively have this harmony with nature from their origins in Africa and also their work on the land as slaves in America. He points to the 1988 nonfiction book "Mississippi Solo" by the African-American writer Eddy L. Harris--"an account of his solo canoe trip down the length of the Mississippi River"--as containing the "ecocentricity that respects the intrinsic value of the larger world and from which springs a consciousness of human equality and an imperative for social justice." Myers does not attempt an exhaustive study of his subject, but rather presents a relatively abbreviated, though well-developed study of it; and along with this, persuasive analysis and reasoning in support of his point of view.
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