Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals

Joy Williams, Author Lyons Press $24.95 (228p) ISBN 978-1-58574-187-8
Sharp, sarcastic and uncompromising, Williams tackles a host of controversial subjects in this collection of 19 impassioned essays dealing mostly with humans' abuses of the natural world. Two of the collection's strongest essays deal with animal rights: ""The Killing Game,"" an antihunting essay first published, to great furor, in Esquire, and ""The Animal People,"" which casts a harsh eye on the agricultural, medical and environmental establishments for their treatment of animals. Other pieces note the diminished state of African wildlife (""Safariland""), the increasing number of babies born in the United States despite the threat of overpopulation (""The Case Against Babies"") and the impact of consumer culture on the natural world (""Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp""). An acclaimed novelist (The Quick and the Dead) and Guggenheim fellow, Williams writes that her essays, unlike her stories, are ""meant to annoy and trouble and polarize""; she terms her own nonfiction style ""unelusive and strident and brashly one-sided."" Readers will likely find all this true. At times, the collection falters under the weight of Williams's anger and moral indignation, and a few essays that are only loosely nature-related (""Sharks and Suicide,"" ""The Electric Chair"" and ""Why I Write"") undermine its momentum. However, her forceful writing and vivid depictions of habitat destruction and animal abuse (""Neverglades,"" ""Wildebeest"") make for compelling reading. Williams believes that the ""ecological crisis"" facing us is essentially a ""moral issue,"" one caused by ""culture and character, and a deep change in personal consciousness is needed."" While it is unlikely that her combative rants will win new converts, some environmentalists may find this book a powerful call to action. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-375-71363-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.