Annis Vilas Pratt


Large20Print20Fly20CoverAnnis Pratt’s The Marshlanders is an absorbing read for the beach or the lake, the river or the mountains, especially if you are wondering if the beach or the lake or the river or even the mountains can survive our depredations much longer. Will there be any beaches left to loll on when, all along the Gulf Coast, the waves are full of oil?  Will our lakes become so choked with algae from fertilizers and our rivers so silted up with industrial poisons that they will never be able to soothe our tattered spirits again? Will we no longer gaze with awe and wonder at our mountains, so deeply are we gouging them for coal?

How did this happen? When did we stop caring for the earth and take to despoiling it?  What motivated us to turn upon our own planet?  In Pratt’s novel you will find some answers, and some hope. The Marshlanders are joyously sensual, seek harmony with their watery landscape, and are creatively practical, always looking for new ideas about farming, irrigation, navigating, foraging, and weaving. Their enemies are sexually violent and seek to dominate nature. They pursue technology out of greed and govern by male domination and military force. This is a compelling read about a green world threatened by a world of greed.  Should you become so absorbed that you can’t bear to reach the end, take heart: it is the first volume of The Marshlanders Trilogy.

Annis is also the author of the prize-winning non-fiction books Archetypal Patterns in Women’s Fiction, in which she traced the relationship between women and nature, and Dancing with Goddesses, how men and women poets approach the green world on a scale from disgust to awe.  She taught English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 20 years but eventually resigned her Full Professorship to write environmental fiction. Her sailing, canoeing, and kayaking adventures along the Atlantic Coast and on Wisconsin and Michigan rivers enrich her exuberantly detailed natural settings.