Reading Ecological Memoirs

My PhD work is on using ecological memoirs as a source of inspiration for re-storying our lives, individually and collectively, along more sustainable plotlines.

An ecological memoir is an autobiography in which the author writes of his or her self as intertwined with the place where he or she lives and the animals and plants that he or she shares that place with. Ecological memoirs challenge the modern Western separation between the human community and the rest of nature. They are usually told in the small details of everyday life and everyday relationships and because of this they are potentially revolutionary.

Some of my favourite ecological memoirs are available at the Ottawa Public Library:

Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: an unnatural history of family and place

Linda Hogan, The Woman Who Watches Over the World: a native memoir

Alison Watt, The Last Island: a naturalist’s sojourn on Triangle Island

Lisa Couturier, The Hopes of Snakes: and other tales from the urban landscape

John Hanson Mitchell, Living at the End of Time

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss

Scott Russell Sanders, A Private History of Awe

Richard Nelson, The Island Within

Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger, and Brenda Peterson (editors), Intimate Nature: the bond between women and animals

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