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Cover of book titled Down to Earth: A Memoir

Down to Earth: A Memoir

Gísli Pálsson

Can one have something in common with a lava field? Can one identify with a mountain, or connect with a contemporary event in the history of the earth, in the way that some people feel connected together by birthday, genetic fingerprint, or zodiac sign? In the terms of the Christian burial ceremony, what is this earth from which we come and to which we return? In Down to Earth, Gísli Pálsson explores such questions through both personal reflection on the microcosm of his childhood home, an Icelandic island disrupted by volcanic eruption, and a critical discussion of the current age of the Anthropocene, characterized by the growing environmental impact of humans. Gísli Pálsson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland. He has written extensively on a variety of issues, including human-environmental relations, slavery, biomedicine, and the social context of genomics.

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