Reading Under the Sign of Nature: New Essays in Ecocriticism

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In 1996 the ecocriticism reader appeared, a seminal work defining a then relatively new approach to literary criticism through the lens of environmental and nature studies. Reading Under the Sign of Nature is the first volume to demonstrate the practice of ecocriticism on a wide range of literary texts representing diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural perspectives. Twenty-two essays masterfully exhibit how a variety of ideas -- bioregionalism, feminism, Buddhism, postmodernism, and phenomenology -- can inform that practice.Included in this volume are critiques of prose and poetry by American writers that have long been in the literary and nature-writing canons, as well as interrogations of work by authors from Native American, African American, Occidental, and Far Eastern traditions. In this long-awaited anthology, a select group of scholars deftly employs the ecocritical approach on a valuable body of contemporary and traditional literature, evincing the rich possibilities for this form of inquiry without, as the editors note, "spinning off into obscurantism or idiosyncrasy".