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In the Blast Zone

Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens

Charles Goodrich, Kathleen Dean Moore and Frederick J. Swanson

5-1/2 × 8-1/2 inches. Map. Line drawings. Bibliography. 128 pages.

2008. ISBN 978-0-87071-198-5. Paperback, $15.95.

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As it erupted in 1980, Mount St. Helens captured the attention of the region, nation, and world, and it continues to fascinate us today: a constant reminder that we live in volcano country. In lucid prose and poetry by some of America's leading writers and scientists, In the Blast Zone explores this story of destruction and renewal in all its human, geological, and ecological dimensions.

Most popular accounts of the momentous eruption have focused on the devastation it caused. More recent scientific work on Mount St. Helens tells a story of unexpectedly rapid and varied ecological and geological change. In the Blast Zone is the first book to present a cross-pollination of literary and scientific perspectives on the mountain's history of cataclysm and renewal.

Most of the contributors to this volume camped together on Mount St. Helens for four days, hiking, observing, and sharing ideas. They asked the question: What can this radically altered landscape tell us about nature and how to live our lives? In the Blast Zone collects some of their answers. While introducing ecological and geological insights, it also tells compelling stories about how science and literature inform our lives and our relationship to nature. These writings will startle readers with new recognition of the matchless gifts of Mount St. Helens: the gifts of beauty, of illumination, of hope.

The Contributors

Gary Braasch, John Calderazzo, Christine Colasurdo, Charlie Crisafulli, John Daniel, Jerry Franklin, Charles Goodrich, Robin Kimmerer, Ursula K. LeGuin, Tim McNulty, Kathleen Dean Moore, Nalini Nadkarni, Robert Michael Pyle, Scott Russell Sanders, James Sedell, Gary Snyder, Kim Stafford, Frederick J. Swanson, Tony Vogt, Ann Zwinger, Susan Zwinger

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