Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rose George

For Library Journal, Wilda Williams interviewed Rose George about her new book, The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters.

One exchange:

In The Big Necessity, you tackle a rather unpalatable topic. Why did you decide to write a book about bodily waste?

I used to work as a writer at the magazine Colors. Its editor, a rather eccentric photographer, decided to do a glossy coffee-table book on excrement. I didn't like the pictures, but the research I did for the stories accompanying them stayed with me. That's when I was introduced to such memorable characters as Bindeshwar Pathak, an Indian sanitation activist who has installed half a million toilets in India. I noticed that every so often the topic would make the news but only ever in a jokey way. I found this odd, having learned the astonishing fact that four in ten people in the world have no sanitation whatsoever. When it came to writing a second book—my first was about refugees—the topic of toilets and sanitation transformed from a background noise in my brain to the obvious and compelling choice.
Read the complete Q & A.

Read more about The Big Necessity, and visit Rose George's website.

--Marshal Zeringue