By Jay Parini
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Extra resources for American Writers, Supplement IX
A Walk on the Wild Side. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1956. The Devil's Stocking. New York: Arbor House, 1983. SHORT STORIES The Neon Wilderness. : Doubleday, 1947. Reprint, New York: Hill and Wang, 1960. The Texas Stories of Nelson Algren. Edited by Bettina Drew. Austin: University of Texas, 1995. NONFICTION Chicago: City on the Make. : 1951. Reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Introduction to The Neon Wilderness. Reprint, New York: Hill and Wang, 1960. Who Lost an American?
Despite the attacks against her, Carson was steadfast in her defense of her book, even to the point of concealing the fact as best she could that she was dying from cancer, because she feared her opponents would use that information against her. In 1963 Carson testified before a special Senate subcommittee convened to look into pesticide use and headed by Abraham Ribicoff. Within a year, forty states had passed pesticide bills. The Clean Air Act followed in 1963, the Water Quality Act in 1965, and many others were introduced directly or indirectly as a result of Carson's work.
Though her prose most often celebrates these relationships, in this book Carson has become, nonetheless, more critical of the human destruction of ecosystems that goes hand in hand with our unexamined faith in science and reason. " A good example is the chapter "The Birth of an Island," in which Carson describes the process of island building and comments on the human-induced tragedy of some Pacific Islands. When ships first visited these isolated places, Europeans introduced goats and cattle and exotic plants that decimated unique island ecologies.
American Writers, Supplement IX by Jay Parini