The Nerves and Their Endings: Essays on Crisis and Response

Author(s) : Jessica Gaitan Johannesson

The Nerves and Their Endings: Essays on Crisis and Response

Book Details

  • Publisher : Scribe Publications
  • Published : August 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
    Climate Politics
  • Catalogue No : 96600
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913348656
  • ISBN 10 : 1913348652
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The body as a measuring tool for planetary harm. A nervous system under increasing stress. In this urgent collection that moves from the personal to the political and back again, writer, activist, and migrant Jessica Gaitan Johannesson explores how we respond to crises. She draws parallels between an eating disorder and environmental neurosis, examines the perils of an activist movement built on non-parenthood, dissects the privilege of how we talk about hope, and more. The synapses that spark between these essays connect essential narratives of response and responsibility, community and choice, belonging and bodies. They carry vital signals.

Reviews and Endorsements

The Nerves and Their Endings is a beautifully written, original collection of essays that explores identity, place, home, and hope. These essays ask how we might not only live in a time of climate collapse, but how we might work towards a better future also - one of community, shared understanding, and tenderness, even in the face of such terrible inequality, cruelty, loss, and disaster. This is a book that's truly necessary for our moment” - Rebecca Tamas, author of Strangers: Essays on the Human and Nonhuman

“Jessica Gaitan Johannesson ‘stays with the trouble’ of climate, environmental, and social injustice with a searching honesty. Tangled, raw, and sparking with intelligence, The Nerves and Their Endings shows how the personal and the political, the human body and the earth's body, are knotted together. As living, feeling, thinking beings our nervous system connects with the world's systems. When the world is sick, we are too. Gaitan Johannesson challenges the tunnel vision of fear-based responses to the multiplying crises of our times, while alert to the unevenness of the suffering caused, the cushioning afforded by privilege, and the responsibility to act that this implies. She asks the hard questions and tackles them with integrity and an open heart. There are no trite answers offered here, rather, an honest exploration of what ‘hope’ might look and feel like in these times, and why we need it in order ‘not to feel responsible but to ably respond’” - Samantha Clark, author of The Clearing

“A pained, dedicated book, which thinks with care about how planetary, personal, and political are inseparable. It seeks out what matters, and where there is most at stake. I found its stories of ecological crisis and intimate experience absorbing, Gaitan Johannessen has a clear analytical voice and a gently deprecating sense of humour” - Daisy Hildyard, author of Emergency

The Nerves and Their Endings is both important and beautiful. Jessica Gaitan Johannesson writes compellingly about the need to view the climate crisis in a wider context. We should all be listening to her” - Jessie Greengrass, author of The High House

“Through these remarkable personal essays and poetry on crisis and climate, crystal clear and unflinching, Jessica Gaitan Johannesson allows us the space to absorb and respond to our own intimate histories while considering the ways we connect (and can be of use to) to the world around us. Truly a talent, this a powerful, generous, community-minded book, and I feel wiser and more empowered for having read it” - Niven Govinden, author of Diary of a Film

The Nerves and Their Endings captures the terrifying freefall of the current moment, stripping away the illusory membrane that separates us from each other and from past and future, and showing, with remarkable elegance and intelligence, the transformative effect of that recognition” - James Bradley, author of Ghost Species

The Nerves and Their Endings beautifully presents the manifest ways our current global crisis intersects with personal experience of crises. Across a broad range of compelling and lyrical essays, Jessica generously gifts us her own narratives and knowledge, of the type that is as bodily as it is metaphysical. She has produced an emotive and detailed map from which we can learn and change, just as we must from the catastrophe itself” - Alice Hattrick, author of Ill Feelings

The Nerves and Their Endings is a beautiful book full of solidarity, grief, and love. Jessica writes with a soft, ardent touch about the climate crisis, the climate movement, and living across borders. I felt I was being spoken to by a friend and also by a poet” - Yara Rodrigues Fowler, author of there are more things

“I devoured this bold, experimental collection of essays ... Moving, funny, and fierce” - Mairi Oliver & Jim Taylor, The Bookseller


About the Author(s)

Jessica Gaitan Johannesson grew up between Sweden, Colombia, and Ecuador. She's a bookseller and an activist working for climate justice, and lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, How We Are Translated, was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize.

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