A cultural biography of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, and a cry of mourning for a post-9/11 world of perpetual war and environmental violence



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Weight 0.5875 lbs
Dimensions 6 × .5 × 9 in

eBook, Paperback

In Green-Wood, the author wanders Brooklyn’s famous nineteenth-century cemetery, where the burial ground becomes a portal through which she can explore her own trauma after September 11, and uncover the historical and national traumas leading up to that event. For the author, Green-Wood becomes not only a place of death, but also survival in the midst of death. Green-Wood bears witness to the ways in which people and things are entangled with one another in vast nets of connection.


The leafy [Green-Wood] cemetery through which Cobb walks in the years after 9/11, during the ensuing wars in the Middle East, during her mother’s cancer treatments, and during her own treatments for infertility, does indeed serve as the ground on which public and private histories are founded, the ground of her historical identity as a United States citizen in the twenty-first century. “I walk against the backdrop of war,” she writes, “the toppling of the Hussein statue, declaration of end of hostilities. Continued bombings. names of dead in the paper.” Yet Cobb complicates the traditional patriarchal view of the earth’s humanizing work by contextualizing it within the high price the earth pays for its unpaid and often unsung cultural labor: “I walk by bulldozers, mowers, pesticide sprayers with yellow warning placards: keep out for 24 hours.’ Alert to the fact that earth’s metaphysical role in western culture has for many centuries been coextensive with the role it has played in capitalism, industrialization, imperialism, and globalization, Green-Woodnever pretends that the terms that make us human do not hold the humus hostage.

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ISBN: 9781937658885
paperback, 172 pages, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 2018

From the ashes of war, human remains, 9/11, and the clear cutting of America’s once-expansive Eastern forests, Allison Cobb creates Green-Wood: a cultural biography of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood cemetery, a historic landmark founded in 1838.

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Allison Cobb is the author of After We All Died (Ahsahta Press); Plastic: an autobiography (Essay Press EP series); Born2 (Chax Press); and Green-Wood, originally published by Factory School …

More about Allison Cobb