Kirkus Reviews QR Code


The Bond Between Women and Animals

edited by Linda Hogan & Deena Metzger & Brenda Peterson

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-449-91122-5
Publisher: Ballantine

 A splendid, multihued collection of writings by women on their kinship with animals, edited by Hogan (Solar Storms, 1995, etc.), Metzger (Writing for Your Life, not reviewed), and Peterson (Sister Stories, 1995, etc.). While it might be argued that women haven't exactly been foreigners to the study and appreciation of creatures in the wild, as this collection suggests--Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, Diane Ackerman, Gretel Ehrlich, and Terry Tempest Williams all readily spring to mind, and all figure in this anthology (not to mention Rachel Carson, who doesn't)--there is no debating the editors' main point: Women have a lot of fascinating and important things to say about the dialogue between species, and they deserve more page space. Included here are reports from the field, poems, ruminations, interviews, short stories, and formal essays, from the rigorously scientific to the sacred and spiritual, many displaying the revived interest in ``ancient indigenous intellectual and religious traditions.'' Speed past the half-baked introduction by the editors: ``animals have been the source of our connection with the world all along''; and the casually tossed off comment that ``what women have brought into the equation is a respect for feeling and empathy,'' which snubs the work of Frans de Waal, Jeffrey Moussaief Masson, and Harry Green, among others. Move on to instead the material that doesn't have an agenda other than writing purely and with disarming clarity about a woman's experience with animals. Enjoy Vicki Hearne's tale of pit bull justice on Venice Beach, Charlotte Zoe Walker's mesmerizing story on the healing power of goats amid the memories of political torture, and Leslie Silko, Alice Walker, Ursula Le Guin--77 contributions, all told. These are, indeed, stories of an intimate nature: sensuous, unsparing, carefully mulled, razor sharp.