Equal parts environmental history and adventure narrative, Banquet in the Ruins weaves together extensive field research and personal narrative to interrogate our concept of nature, investigate how our insatiable appetites have contributed to the current landscape of environmental crisis and conservation, and question what we might do about it now
BANQUET IN THE RUINS:
A Delicious Adventure of Wild Food, Environmental Conservation, and Untamable Natures
by GinaRae LaCerva
Greystone Books, Fall 2020
Agent: Sterling Lord Literistic (Proposal avalaible)
Anthropologist and geographer GinaRae LaCerva’s fascination with hunting and gathering quickly exploded into a personal obsession that sent her on a quest to taste the wild foods we still eat and the ones we have forgotten: from wild boar in Borneo, to a lobster bake on an island in Maine, to gathering herbs near Kierkegaard’s grave in Copenhagen. She didn’t expect to find something much more profound—an untamable love affair and the elusive pleasure of simple sustenance. Along the way, she illuminates that the history of food is also the history of environmental conservation, examines the rapid transformation of wild food from nutritional necessity to luxury good, explores how this shift reflects our attempts to tame and commodify “natures” of all kinds, and ultimately finds that her own sense of adventure is just as unruly as the natural places she explores. In this impeccably researched narrative history, Banquet in the Ruins uncovers something essential about what it means to love the planet in the age of extinction.
GinaRae LaCerva is a geographer and environmental anthropologist. Her award-winning narrative writing has been published by THE Magazine, MIT Press, Sage Magazine, and The Santa Fe Reporter, as well as top scholarly journals. She has traveled extensively conducting field research on a variety of environmental and food-related topics, and has crossed the Pacific Ocean on a sailboat. A National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, GinaRae holds a Master of Environmental Science from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a Master of Philosophy from The University of Cambridge, and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College.