Outdoor Literature


Contemporary Women Writers






Review of Contemporary Women Writers

On the last day of class, we discussed several women writers.  Here's a summary:

Rachel Carson


Rachel Carson  (GI Generation).  Author of Silent Spring (1962), a book warning about the dangers of pesticides.  Silent Spring is one of the most important environment books of all time.  It led to key changes in the nation's pesticide policy and eventually to a ban on DDT and other pesticides.  Many point to Silent Spring as the catalyst for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.




Annie Dillard




Annie Dillard  (Boom Generation).  Author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974).  Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a nonfictional narrative about the wildlife and landscape near Roanoke, Virginia.  The book is a modern day Walden with a more realistic and edgy view of nature.






Terry Tempest Williams


Terry Tempest Williams  (Boom Generation).  Author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place (1991).  The book mixes nature writing, culture and family (in particular, Williams writes about her grandmother).   Williams who is from Utah is a naturalist and conservationist.   Themes in her work includes ecology, wilderness, women's health, culture and nature.  We saw Williams in the Edward Abbey film discussing the importance of Desert Solitaire.



Ann Weiler WalkaAnn Weiler Walka  (Boom Generation).   Author of Waterlines: Journeys on Desert River, poems of the desert country.  Walka is known as "the poet of the Colorado Plateau."  She introduced President Clinton when he visited the Grand Canyon on January 11, 2000 to sign presidential documents creating three new national monuments in the southern Utah and northern Arizona.  Walka used to live and work in Pocatello.






Pam Houston





Pam Houston (Generation X).  Author of Cowboys are My WeaknessCowboys is a collection of fictional short stories which draw upon Houston's experiences as river runner, climber, and skier.  Critics have compared her to such outdoor oriented writers as Ernest Hemingway.  Translated into nine languages, the book established Houston as a model for women seeking an outdoor lifestyle. 











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