Animal Texts examines critical works of American Environmental Literature for how they portray, discuss, and represent animals. By interweaving animal studies, literary animal studies, animal science, and close readings, the author establishes critical animal concepts for environmental literature that expand the understanding and knowledge of animal lives to promote conservation and meaningful reflection on current human-animal relationships. Lauren E. Perry-Rummel demonstrates the grave importance and promise these writers saw in the animals alongside them by examining the textual proof of how America's great environmental writers viewed animals. The author’s tracing of animal texts begins with late nineteenth century American texts from Sarah Orne Jewett, Jack London, into the mid-early twentieth century, ecologically focused works of Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, into the later twentieth century with the musings of Edward Abbey and the devastating memoir of Terry Tempest Williams, and ending with the contemporary species-centric works of Nate Blakeslee and Dan Flores.
Lauren E. Perry-Rummel teaches English literature at the University of Arizona and the University of New Mexico and is an instructional designer at the University of New Mexico.
Table of Contents
Animal Subjects: The White Heron, Wolf-Dog, and Surviving the Industrialized World
Animal Time: Carson and Leopold on the Ecological Importance of Animal Presence in Clocks and Calendars
The Animal in Abbey’s Country: Rethinking Animal Consciousness
Memories Are for the Birds: Terry Tempest Williams’s Memoir of Animal Understanding
Animal Texts: How Animal Studies Enabled the Literary Success of Coyote America and American Wolf and Gave Voice to American Animals
About the Author
Scholars of Animal Studies – and truthfully, any readers intrigued by the literary treatment of wildlife in modern America – will find Lauren Perry-Rummels Animal Texts a thoroughly compelling, fascinating book. How are modern writers engaging with wolf recovery, or the spread of coyotes from Pacific to Atlantic shores? Animal Texts smartly interrogates these and many more animal encounters in this distinctive American literary tradition that arguably began with William Bartram and Herman Melville.