Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect by Heather HouserEcosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect by Heather Houser

Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect

byHeather Houser

Paperback | July 19, 2016

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The 1970s brought a new understanding of the biological and intellectual impact of environmental crises on human beings. As efforts to prevent ecological and bodily injury aligned, a new literature of sickness emerged. "Ecosickness fiction" imaginatively rethinks the link between these forms of threat and the sick body to bring readers to environmental consciousness.

Tracing the development of ecosickness through a compelling archive of contemporary U.S. novels and memoirs, Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction establishes that we cannot comprehend environmental and medical dilemmas through data alone and must call on the sometimes surprising emotions that literary metaphors, tropes, and narratives deploy. In chapters on David Foster Wallace, Richard Powers, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marge Piercy, Jan Zita Grover, and David Wojnarowicz, Heather Houser shows how narrative affects such as wonder and disgust organize perception of an endangered world and orient us ethically toward it.

The study builds the connective tissue between contemporary literature, ecocriticism, affect studies, and the medical humanities. It also positions ecosickness fiction relative to emergent forms of environmentalism and technoscientific innovations such as regenerative medicine and alternative ecosystems. Houser models an approach to contemporary fiction as a laboratory for affective changes that spark or squelch ethical projects.

Heather Houser is associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.
Title:Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and AffectFormat:PaperbackDimensions:328 pagesPublished:July 19, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231165153

ISBN - 13:9780231165150


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. Ecosickness2. AIDS Out of the City: Discordant Natures3. Richard Powers's Strange Wonder4. Infinite Jest's Environmental Case for Disgust5. The Anxiety of Intervention in Leslie Marmon Silko and Marge PiercyConclusion: How Does It Feel?NotesWorks CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

Houser engages with affect theory to push the boundaries of material ecocriticism in an innovative and necessary direction? she insightfully complicates the role of "writer-activist" and asks her audience to consider critically what shape this activism might take and what its future might entail.