Wells, Lisa: Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, hardcover
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Publisher Marketing: In search of answers and action, award-winning poet and essayist Lisa Wells brings us Believers, introducing trailblazers and outliers from across the globe who have found radically new ways to live and reconnect to the Earth in the face of climate change
We find ourselves at the end of the world; how then shall we live?
Like many of us, Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by news of apocalyptic-scale climate change and a coming sixth extinction. She did not need to be convinced of the stakes. But what can be done? Wells embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking answers in dedicated communities--outcasts and visionaries--on the margins of society.
Wells meets Finisia Medrano, an itinerant planter and misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists to rewild the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practicing watershed discipleship in New Mexico; another group in Philadelphia turning the tools of violence into tools of farming--guns into plowshares. She watches the world's greatest tracker teach how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land overrun by invasive species and destructive humans. She talks with survivors of catastrophic wildfires in California as they try to rebuild in new ways that acknowledge the fires will come again.
Blending reportage, memoir, history, and philosophy, Wells opens up seemingly intractable questions about the damage we have done and how we might reckon with our inheritance. "Brilliant in its quest . . . [and] an essential document of our time" (Charles D'Ambrosio), Believers demands transformation: If the Earth is our home, if our home is being destroyed-- how then shall we live?