Animal Studies Journal


The Grass Library constitutes its own genre – a memoir of embodied humans and animals who write themselves not quite equally into the text – the nonhuman takes precedence. On the cover, fittingly, the human is an absence although there is evidence in the background, full bookshelves and a water bowl lovingly placed on a window shelf. In the foreground is one of the principal subjects, an assertive presence who gazes directly at the viewer with sheep-openness and beauty. Brooks mentions an antiquarian library elsewhere that had been subjected to ‘the scrutiny of grass’ (65). This book too has been scrutinised by grass, by nonhuman ways of being, by their narratives and their desires. If this book was originally conceptualised as part of a project ‘exposing animal cruelty’ (16) it is also a celebration of transpecies love and of living together. It is a book about writing ethically about animals, and what the process of writing reveals.