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Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
I believe this book may be the "Silent Spring" for our times. At first, I was not sure that I could write a review, for it is both a beautiful and yet devastating read. From New England to the Eastern Coast to California, the seas are rising, the marshes are flooding and we are in great peril. There once were bayous in Louisiana that no longer exist. There are people whose homes are now under water. Yes, the tale is at times overwhelming, but somehow Rush's poetic and flowing language draw the reader further into her story. Descriptions of the scientists and volunteers who are working daily to combat these dire conditions, as well as the personal commentaries of people whose lives have been affected recount courage and elicit empathy. I found myself loving this book and looking forward each morning to reading a few more pages.
David Biello in the NYT Sunday Book Review gave "Rising" a glowing review:
"This is a book for those who mourn the changing climate and coast, as well as, perhaps, America's diminishing literary culture: sadness benefits from lyrical prose"
June 2018 Indie Next List
“Focusing on the shorelines of our nation, Elizabeth Rush takes us from north to south and east to west on an intimate journey that vividly tells the story of the effects of our rising sea level and its impact on animal and plant life. In Rising, Rush has written a personal, passionate plea for us to take action before it is too late and to rethink our priorities to the benefit of our environment. This is environmental writing at its best. Please read Rising and then grab a friend and make them read it, too. It’s that good!
— Bill Reilly, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL OUTDOOR BOOK AWARD
A CHICAGO TRIBUNE TOP TEN BOOK OF 2018
A GUARDIAN, NPR's SCIENCE FRIDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, AND LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2018 Hailed as "deeply felt" (New York Times), "a revelation" (Pacific Standard), and "the book on climate change and sea levels that was missing" (Chicago Tribune), Rising is both a highly original work of lyric reportage and a haunting meditation on how to let go of the places we love. With every passing day, and every record-breaking hurricane, it grows clearer that climate change is neither imagined nor distant--and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways. In Rising, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place. Weaving firsthand testimonials from those facing this choice--a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago--with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of these vulnerable communities, Rising privileges the voices of those too often kept at the margins.
About the Author
Elizabeth Rush's journalism has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper's, Guernica, Granta, Orion, and the New Republic, among others. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants including the Howard Foundation Fellowship, awarded by Brown University; the Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship for Pedagogical Innovation in the Humanities; the Metcalf Institute Fellowship; and the Science in Society Journalism Award from the National Association of Science Writers. She received her MFA in nonfiction from Southern New Hampshire University and her BA from Reed College. She lives in Rhode Island, where she teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.