Storied places and companions infuse this deeply moving book of earthly encounters. This is not travel writing in any conventional sense, but home writing attuned to the bumptious motions of living and dying together of diverse human and nonhuman peoples. These are stories that can nurture response-abilities in our urgent times.
– Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department, University of California, Santa Cruz.
“This book,” Kate Wright observes, “is written on home ground, where my places of memory and warm familiarity are also places of colonial violence and dispossession.” Such is the fate of those across the planet who find themselves born into settlement cultures. Responding to her plight, the author engages in “recuperative work,” rooting out structures of violence and dispossession still embedded in her beloved New England tablelands of Australia, in order to be true, as much as she can, to the “original storying of the place where my own stories were born.” Her study is intimate and moving, a deeply personal account of her love for this particular place under the sun, even as she engages in a tough-minded, critical rethinking of her entanglement in a history permeated with genocidal and ecocidal legacies. Her embrace of transdisciplinary method, moving fluently and confidently among poetic, philosophic, ethnographic, ecological, historical, and autobiographical approaches to her subject matter, is innovative and always on target. Far too often appeals to the local are dismissed as not providing a rigorous understanding of the large issues and great forces at work in the onset of the Anthropocene. Wright’s work here shows just the opposite can and should be the case. We need a lot more studies like this one.
– James Hatley, Emeritus Professor in Environmental Studies and Philosophy, Salisbury University, Maryland.
This book is a major contribution to the emerging field of the Environmental Humanities. It is a field founded on the idea that knowledge is forged on troubling journeys, not just applied to problems by masterful humans in order to extract solutions. A new way of being is needed. Instead of the movement of theory to an empirical domain, a subtle yet remarkable ontology is conjured in this book, perhaps for the first time. Kate Wright has invented a kind of subjectivity, with both a mode of knowledge composition, and a tone, that are crafted in interspecies relations. We hear how others know otherwise, voices arguing with different kinds of authority; dialogues with Lucy the dog, with water and a forest, such that these actors can negotiate equally and supportively. The argument gathers momentum as these others are choreographed by Wright to join forces in this pluridimensional world. The Environmental Humanities are here relaunched on a new journey, generating hope through generous thought in a spirit of trust.
– Professor Stephen Muecke, Jury Chair of English, Language and Literature, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide.
This book radically repositions the role of humans in this world. The author does this by telling wonderful illuminating stories that move the reader to imagine both a new politic and renewing poetics. Wright exemplifies the kind of imaginative intellectual thinking that we need right now to live in a world that depends upon relationality. Sure this book will make you think differently but it will also make you feel very, very connected!
– Associate Professor Katrina Schlunke, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney.