Book Cover


A Love Story

Nicole Walker

5.5 x 8.5, 288 pp.
Pub Date: August, 2018

Subjects: Creative Nonfiction

Series: 21st Century Essays

Imprint: Mad Creek Books

order Paperback $23.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5485-1
Order PDF ebook$23.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-7637-2

Winner of a 2018 Nautilus Award
Nautalis Award Logo

Watch the author talk about her book, Sustainability: A Love Story, on Portland's KATU

“Though she visits some dark emotional places, Walker’s voice is human and funny. . . . This kind of wry insight makes me want to read more.”— CATALYST Magazine

“I didn’t want the journey to end, just as [Walker] doesn’t want the world to end; there are too many great things to live for, this book being one of them.” —NewPages

“With her sobering and at times darkly humorous writing, Walker brings a refreshingly original perspective to sustainability. She is at once pessimistic and optimistic, somewhat fearful and cautiously hopeful. . . . Her book is a challenge to others to think about the unique role they can play in sustaining the planet.” —Foreword Reviews

“A book about life lived on a variety of edges, Sustainability: A Love Story is singular and gorgeous. Walker melds so beautifully environmentalist research with the fierce love between members of a family, daily domestic life, and the observations of a writer.” —Mary Cappello, author of Life Breaks In

In Sustainability: A Love Story, Nicole Walker questions what it means to live sustainably while still being able to have internet and eat bacon. After all, who wants to listen to a short, blond woman who is mostly a hypocrite anyway, who eats cows, drives a gasoline-powered car, who owns no solar panels, tsk tsking them? Armed with research and a bright irony, playfully addressing the devastation of the world around us, Walker delves deep into scarcity and abundance, but not just in nature, reflecting on matters that range from her uneasy relationship with bats to the fragility of human life, from adolescent lies to what recycling can reveal about our not so moderate drinking habits. With laugh out loud sad-funny moments, and a stark humor, Walker appeals to our innate sense of personal commitment to sustaining our world, and our commitment to sustaining our marriages, our families, our lives, ourselves.

This book is for the burnt-out environmentalist, the lazy environmentalist, the would-be environmentalist. It’s for those who believe the planet is dying. For those who believe they are dying. And for those who question what it means to live and love sustainably, and maybe even with hope.

Nicole Walker is an Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University and the author of Egg, Where the Tiny Things Are, and co-editor of Bending Genre: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction.



Dear Rain
Sustainability: A Love Story
Cautionary Tales
Fire Question
The End of the Coffee Is the End of the World
Are We Going to Make It? Another Kind of Sustainability
Hegel’s Dialectic: Give or Take an Inch
Between Me and You
21,000 Acres and Counting
Love in the Time of Global Warming
Carbon-Sucking Mushrooms Will Save Us but Whiskey Will Kill Us Anyway
Love Comes in Waves Like an Ocean
A Count
Of Constancy
The Grass Is Always Greener
In the End, We Will Fight Over Cheese
You Never Know Just How You Look in Other People’s Eyes
“Are We On Fire”May Have Been an Indigo Girls Song
Surfaces, Depths, and Plentitude
Inner Resources
You Can’t Love One
Why I Did Not Ride My Bike Today
Sustainable Garbage
Sustainable Lies, Sustainable Statistics
Sustainable Dogs—On Time and Timing
Sustainable Caulk
Judgey McJudgerson
Straw Men
On Beauty
You Can Choose What You Remember

Further Reading

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