3 Books Weekly #6: Anne Galloway, and the space-time of moss
09.00, Friday 8 Apr 2016 Link to this post
The following was first posted on the 3 Books Weekly email newsletter and has since been archived here.
Welcome to the 6th edition of 3 Books Weekly featuring Dr Anne Galloway!
Anne’s an old friend, and her perspective on what it means to be a person of human, animal, or other variety - whether that’s informed by talking to shepherds as they use (or don’t use) drones, or hanging out with her sheep in New Zealand - is always mind-opening for me. Anne runs the More-Than-Human Lab at the Victoria University of Wellington, and tweets as @annegalloway.
Some brief bookshop news… If you’d be up for sharing your recommendations, I’d love to stock them in the vending machine! You can find a mini questionnaire to fill in, and the latest weekly selection, right here. Machine Supply is a popup bookshop that has popped up at Campus London for the whole of April.
And as ever, if you’ve enjoyed 3 Books Weekly, please share with friends :) They can subscribe here.
#1. The People in the Trees, by Hanya Yanagihara
I read a lot of novels, but this is one I read last year that really got under my skin. Written as an intellectual memoir, this is a story of first contact, culturally relative ethics, and universal cruelty. To my mind it epitomises the fragile beauty and durable disgrace of humanist modes of inquiry, but I remain most disturbed that I wish I could cross paths with Perina. I suspect it would change me forever.
#2. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
This is an ethnographic account of companion species, one about (as Jedediah Purdy writes) “what we make of mushrooms [and] what mushrooms might make of us.” It’s a story of relationality and interconnectedness; a deeply curious and hopeful feminist ecology for the damaged worlds we share. I wish more research was like this. I wish more people thought like this.
#3. The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
The protagonist Alma Whittaker is a peculiar - and utterly beguiling - combination of insatiable and humble. But I loved this story because it taught me something important about scales of lived experience, and I think that Alma was taught something important about scales of lived experience through her encounters with moss. Seriously, all that matters here is the space-time of moss.