Zigzagging across the globe, Kate Sutherland’s fourth book is poetry by way of collage: pieced-together excerpts from travellers’ journals, ships’ logs, textbooks and manuals, individual testimony, and fairy and folk tales that tell stories of the extinction of various species, and of the evolution human understanding of—and culpability for—the phenomenon. Across its three sections, Sutherland draws identifiable connections between various animal extinctions and human legacies of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy, charting the ways in which they juxtapose one another while impacting the natural order of things.
A trenchant critique of humanity’s disastrous effects on this world, The Bones Are There is also a celebration of incredible creatures, all sadly lost to us. It honours their memory by demanding accountability and encouraging resistance, so that we might stave off future irrevocable loss and preserve what wonders remain.
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