CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Press has published a new book of essays on nature writing by some of the most distinguished female authors in contemporary nature writing.

Contributors to "American Nature Writing 2000: A Celebration of Women Writers" include Pattiann Rogers, Jan DeBlieu, Adrienne Ross, Susan Zwinger and Carol Ann Bassett. Selections were made by John A. Murray, founding editor of "American Nature Writing."

The book is the seventh volume in what has become a leading showcase for contemporary nature writing. The 1999 edition was the best-selling title by the OSU Press last year.

This special 2000 volume is devoted entirely to the writings of women, according to Tom Booth, marketing manager for the OSU Press.

"Three generations of women show nature writing to be a vital genre embracing a range of themes, from the solace of wild places to the ferocity of nature; from the importance of urban green spaces to the need to protect the last of our wildness areas," Booth said.

Publishers Weekly writes that many of the book's strongest selection have an ecological theme: "Marybeth Holleman reports firsthand on the ongoing damage to communities and to wildlife hurt by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill; Kate Boyes profiles a disillusioned Utah desert town 'saved' by a Faustian pact (U.S. military provided jobs but used the town's environs as a toxic dump); and Carol Ann Bassett braves the rapids of Chile's wild Bio-Bio River as she mingles with the ancient Mapuche Indians, whose traditional culture is being threatened by a hydroelectric dam project."

"American Nature Writing 2000" is available in libraries and book stores, or it can be ordered by calling 1-800-426-3797.

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OSU Press, 541-737-3166