Friday, January 11, 2013

Melanie Challenger

Poet Melanie Challenger's nonfiction debut is On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature.

From her Q & A with Bridget Potter at Publishers Weekly:

How did you come to believe that we have become "estranged from nature"?

I had a clamoring love of nature, but when I immersed myself in the natural world, I realized how much of my life and knowledge was derived solely from the manufactured social life of human society. This was the catalyst for the book.

Your inquiry takes you on "peregrinations" to some distant and not so distant locations. How did you choose them?

I'm not what one might call a very "professional" writer. I don't design books in my head in advance, I use writing and literature as an instrument to try to sharpen and deepen my understanding of the world. In the case of Antarctica, I went from a childhood fascination with the blue whale to an interest in whaling, and from there to a study of whaling in Antarctica and the Arctic—but the chance to go to Antarctica came from a meeting in a pub with an oceanographer, who I'd contacted to try and help me understand climate change better! The oceanographer told me abou...[read on]
Learn more about On Extinction at the Counterpoint website.

The Page 99 Test: On Extinction.

--Marshal Zeringue