Synopses & Reviews
As it erupted in 1980, Mount St. Helens captured the attention of the region, nation, and world, and it continues to fascinate us today a constant reminder that we live in volcano country. In lucid prose and poetry by some of America's leading writers and scientists, In the Blast Zone
explores this story of destruction and renewal in all its human, geological, and ecological dimensions.
Most popular accounts of the momentous eruption have focused on the devastation it caused. More recent scientific work on Mount St. Helens tells a story of unexpectedly rapid and varied ecological and geological change. In the Blast Zone is the first book to present a cross-pollination of literary and scientific perspectives on the mountain's history of cataclysm and renewal.
Most of the contributors to this volume camped together on Mount St. Helens for four days, hiking, observing, and sharing ideas. They asked the question: What can this radically altered landscape tell us about nature and how to live our lives? In the Blast Zone collects some of their answers. While introducing ecological and geological insights, it also tells compelling stories about how science and literature inform our lives and our relationship to nature. These writings will startle readers with new recognition of the matchless gifts of Mount St. Helens: the gifts of beauty, of illumination, of hope.
About the Author
Charles Goodrich is Program Director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at Oregon State University and the author of The Practice of Home: Biography of a House
Kathleen Dean Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at OSU, where she directs the Spring Creek Project and serves as the university's first Writer Laureate. She is the author of several books, most recently The Pine Island Paradox: Finding Connection in a Disconnected World.
Frederick J. Swanson is a Research Geologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, in Corvallis, Oregon. He is co-editor of Ecological Responses to the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens and has spent his career working on interactions of geological and ecological forces in mountain lands.