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The Lay of the Land by Annette Kolodny

Each month our staff picks additional recommendations based on our Dandy Roll Book Club pick. We're recommending The Lay of the Land: Metaphor As Experience and History in American Life and Letters for those of our members who would like to read a feminist take on nature writing based on our April pick, Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt.

For a feminist twist on nature writing, try Lay of the Land by Annette Kolodny. Kolodny discusses the intersectionality of the feminine identity and the ecological crisis in the United States by weaving together pieces of literature and culture from 1584-1860.

An original and highly unusual psycholinguistic study of American literature and culture from 1584 to 1860, this volume focuses on the metaphor of 'land-as-woman.' It is the first systematic documentation of the recurrent responses to the American continent as a feminine entity (as Mother, as Virgin, as Temptress, as the Ravished), and it is also the first systematic inquiry into the metaphor's implications for the current ecological crisis.

  • Paperback, 200 pages
  • Milkweed Editions, 2020