Book Review: Oil And Water...And Other Things That Don’t Mix
Publication Date: Dec 15, 2010
List Price: $14.99
Format: Paperback, 246 pages
Parent Company: LL-Publications
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Book Reviewed by Robert Fleming
If you take a trip to the once-scenic Gulf Coast, you will see there is
more to be done in the restoration and rejuvenation of the area. The mammoth
oil spill, resulting from the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion on April
20, 2010, not only devastated the families of the workers on that oil rig
but wreaked havoc on the lives of the citizens and wildlife along the Gulf.
This anthology, Oil and Water and Other Things That Don't Mix, is an honorable endeavor, piloted by editors Zetta Brown and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown, to raise funds for The Bay Area Food Bank and MOBILE Baykeeper, two fine agencies sustaining the communities near the oil-tainted water. The editors gathered up a stunning group of poets, bloggists, journalists, and authors, new and old, to entertain readers for a good cause.
Supported by an effective foreword by Mary W. Rowe of the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation and an engaging preface by the editors, one of the collection’s greatest strengths are its essays, highly personal, reflective and environmentally aware. Hear the power and determination in the essays of Lissa Brown’s "Recipe for Disaster," Molly Cox Bryan’s "Renegade Vegetarian," Amy Wise's "Sewer" Candy Store, and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown’s "Lost Bay."
Take note of Karen Pickell’s candid essay, "An Ordinary Difference" when she confesses she’s not an environmentalist or suited to wash oil off pelicans with dish soap. Like most Americans, she’s just one of the "ordinary people who love our cars." Very honest, indeed.
The poems, by such talents as Patricia Anne McGoldrick, Maureen E. Doeallas, Carl Palmer, Tynia Thomassie, and L.B. Gschwandtner, permit the reader to catch a breath between the dynamic essays and stories. Every line in these works conveys the terrible human toll placed by an insensitive corporation on the Gulf’s residents. But nowhere is the collective heartbeat of this community felt in this anthology than its short stories and a sampler from an autobiography, with its daring practitioners: Mary Larkin, Kelly Martineau, Cherie Reich, Shonell Bacon, Jarvis Slacks, John Klawitter, Linda Lou, Ginger McKnight-Chavers, and Zetta Brown.
There have been several collections and commentary about the oil spill disaster, but this is a truly enthralling one. Edited by the Browns (no relation), this poignant anthology on the brave people and that majestic place by the Gulf is guaranteed to make you share in the beauty and sadness of this tragic situation. Please buy it and do a very good thing.