We’re pleased to share this interview with Among Animals contributor Catherine Evleshin (“A Sterile Place”). And for all of you in the Pacific Northwest, save the date: Catherine will be reading from her story, along with AA2 contributor Rachel King, on Thursday, October 13, at 7 p.m. at Annie Bloom’s.
Q: What inspired you to write this story?
A: My parents, who ran a farming operation in Northern California during World War II, read Rachel Carson and worried. I witnessed repeated “Silent Springs” when the spray planes dumped DDT on their crops.
Q: What was your writing/research process?
A: I read environmental science, ecolit, and future fiction … and remember my childhood on a green farm carved from river delta soils and wild spaces.
Q: Past and present time often cross paths for Bob in this story; at what point do you feel the lines blur, and why?
A: Still alive in 2041, the centegenarian protagonist, confined to an institution because of cognitive issues, remembers his name as the more professorial Robert. His great grandson helps him reconstruct his childhood that reaches back to World War II.
Q: What species would you miss the most if it were to disappear?
A: My brain tells me that all species have a place in the ecosystem. But to be honest, it rips out my heart to learn the plight of warm-blooded creatures, and, yes, frogs. Mosquitos and flies, not so much.
A: The urgency of stopping practices that destroy the natural world now, not when it becomes economically practical.