Synopses & Reviews
Harvey. Maria. Irma. Sandy. Katrina. We live in a time of unprecedented hurricanes and catastrophic weather events, a time when it is increasingly clear that climate change is neither imagined nor distant — and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways.
In this highly original work of lyrical reportage, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place. Weaving firsthand accounts from those facing this choice — a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago--with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of the communities both currently at risk and already displaced, Rising privileges the voices of those usually kept at the margins.
At once polyphonic and precise, Rising is a shimmering meditation on vulnerability and on vulnerable communities, both human and more than human, and on how to let go of the places we love.
"Timely and urgent, this report on how climate change is affecting American shorelines provides critical evidence of the devastating changes already faced by some coastal dwellers. Elizabeth Rush masterfully presents firsthand accounts of these changes, acknowledging her own privileged position in comparison to most of her interviewees and the heavy responsibility involved in relaying their experiences to an audience....In the midst of a highly politicized debate on climate change and how to deal with its far-reaching effects, this book deserves to be read by all." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A smart, lyrical testament to change and uncertainty. Elizabeth Rush listens to both the vulnerability and resiliency of communities facing the shifting shorelines of extreme weather. These are the stories we need to hear in order to survive and live more consciously with a sharp-edged determination to face our future with empathy and resolve. Rising illustrates how climate change is a relentless truth and real people in real places know it by name, storm by flood by fire." Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Hour of Land
"Elizabeth Rush's graceful Rising: Dispatches From the New American Shore addresses elevated sea levels from front stoops and town halls of communities watching their climate change through clinched teeth." Chicago Tribune
"Sea level rise is not some distant problem in a distant place. As Elizabeth Rush shows, it's affecting real people right now. Rising is a compelling piece of reporting, by turns bleak and beautiful." Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction
About the Author
Elizabeth Rush's journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, Harper's, Guernica, Granta, Orion, and the New Republic, among others. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants including the Howard Foundation Fellowship, awarded by Brown University; the Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship for Pedagogical Innovation in the Humanities; the Metcalf Institute Fellowship; and the Science in Society Journalism Award from the National Association of Science Writers. She received her MFA in nonfiction from Southern New Hampshire University and her BA from Reed College. She lives in Rhode Island, where she teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.