by Camille T. Dungy
Read by the author
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Or listen at Libro.fm
Content: There is some mild swearing (I think? Maybe not?) and frank talk of racism and violence against Black people. It’s in the Creative Non-fiction section of the bookstore.
The premise of this is simple: Camille Dungy owns a house in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and she wants to make her overly-chemicalized turf lawn into something more environmentally friendly and sustainable. She writes about the process the “prairie project” as she and her husband dub it, but the book is more than that. It’s a reflection on environmental writing and the people who usually write (read: white, rich, often men) about the environment. It’s about the intersection of social and environmental justice. It’s how, as a Black woman, Dungy feels not only called to work the land but also compelled to protect it and welcome all living things.
This was such an enjoyable audiobook experience. Dungy is an excellent narrator, and I felt myself not only learning from her but having my own need to garden and see growing things affirmed. I should be better about growing things that are native here, as opposed to just planting any old thing (and seeing what grows), which is kind of what I do now. But, I loved and respected what Dungy had to say about the earth, the environment, and about social justice.