*Named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker and Literary Hub!* A Finalist for the 2022 NBCC Awards in Nonfiction, the 2023 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award, and the NEIBA 2023 New England Book Award*
From Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx, this riveting deep dive into the history of our wetlands and what their systematic destruction means for the planet “is both an enchanting work of nature writing and a rousing call to action” (Esquire).
“I learned something new—and found something amazing—on every page.”—Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land
A lifelong acolyte of the natural world, Annie Proulx brings her witness and research to the subject of wetlands and the vitally important role they play in preserving the environment—by storing the carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. Fens, bogs, swamps, and marine estuaries are crucial to the earth’s survival, and in four illuminating parts, Proulx documents their systemic destruction in pursuit of profit.
In a vivid and revelatory journey through history, Proulx describes the fens of 16th-century England, Canada’s Hudson Bay lowlands, Russia’s Great Vasyugan Mire, and America’s Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. She introduces the early explorers who launched the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and writes of the diseases spawned in the wetlands—the Ague, malaria, Marsh Fever.
A sobering look at the degradation of wetlands over centuries and the serious ecological consequences, this is “an unforgettable and unflinching tour of past and present, fixed on a subject that could not be more important” (Bill McKibben).
“A stark but beautifully written Silent Spring–style warning from one of our greatest novelists.” —The Christian Science Monitor
Annie Proulx is the author of eleven books, including the novels The Shipping News and Barkskins, and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award–winning film. Fen, Bog, and Swamp is her second work of nonfiction. She lives in New Hampshire.
Gabra Zackman knows romance. Her clever and “thrilling romantic caper” (Library Journal) Bod Squad series was inspired by the more than one hundred romance and women’s fiction titles she has narrated for audio. She divides her time between her native New York City and Denver, Colorado.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (September 27, 2022)
"Gabra Zackman’s intelligent performance of this eloquent audiobook encourages listeners to absorb its powerful message. As Zackman narrates with exquisite timing and thoughtful pacing, listeners learn much from Proulx’s longtime focus on the wetter world. Unlike that of a pure scientist, Proulx’s prose sparkles and is enlivened by stories, quotations, and memories. She shares her curiosity for peat and her love of the literary uses of bogs and swamps but never veers far from explaining the alarming losses to our flora and fauna that are occurring today. Listeners learn about her childhood and ongoing fascination with wetlands, as well as proactive projects aimed at revivifying the damage that has been done through dredging and draining our swampland, marshes, and fens for the purpose of development."
– Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine