Charles Bowden continues to discover the headwaters of the sickness that seeps through the American soul, and to consider what it might mean to fully come alive in a time of exalted consumption, global pillage, gated communities and wholesale destruction of the environment.
He is the author of fourteen books including:
Desierto: Memories of the Future
Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America
Juárez: The Laboratory of our Future
Blues for Cannibals: The Notes From Underground.
He is a contributing editor of Esquire, and also writes for other magazines such as Harper's and The New York Times Book Review, as well as for newspapers. He is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Sidney Hillman Award. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Our Way of Life
"We are an exceptional model of the human race. We no longer know how to produce food. We no longer can heal ourselves. We no longer raise our young. We have forgotten the names of the stars, fail to notice the phases of the moon. We do not know the plants and they no longer protect us. We tell ourselves we are the most powerful specimens of our kind who have ever lived. But when the lights are off we are helpless. We cannot move without traffic signals. We must attend classes in order to learn by rote numbered steps toward love or how to breast-feed our baby. We justify anything, anything at all by the need to maintain our way of life. And then we go to the doctor and tell the professionals we have no life. We have a simple test for making decisions: our way of life, which we cleverly call our standard of living, must not change except to grow yet more grand. We have a simple reality we live with each and every day: our way of life is killing us." From Blood Orchid by Charles Bowden (used with permission)