Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sandra Steingraber  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1959 in Tazewell County, Illinois,


-- Website -- http://steingraber.com/
-- Sandra Steingraber on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=sandra+steingraber


Illinois Connection

Sandra Steingraber was adopted as an infant. Steingraber grew up and spent most of her childhood in Tazewell County, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on the environment links to cancer and human health. In her 20s, Steingraber developed bladder cancer. She was not alone; in several of her books, she describes an apparent cancer cluster in her hometown and within her family.After her cancer went into remission, Steingraber completed her undergraduate degree in biology from Illinois Wesleyan University.She worked for several years as a field researcher, eventually earning her doctorate in biology from the University of Michigan. Steingraber also holds a master's degree in English from Illinois State University. Steingraber was formerly on faculty at Cornell University, she is currently Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies at Ithaca College, located in Ithaca, New York.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Post-Diagnosis
ISBN: 1563410583

Firebrand Books. 1995

Sandra Steingraber -- gifted young poet, cancer survivor, environmental activist -- writes about hope and renunciation, desire and determination in this moving collection.

Living Downstream: A Scientist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
ISBN: 0375700994

Vintage. 1998

With this eloquent and impassioned book, biologist and poet Sandra Steingraber shoulders the legacy of Rachel Carson, producing a work about people and land, cancer and the environment, that is as accessible and invaluable as Silent Spring--and potentially as historic.

In her early twenties, Steingraber was afflicted with cancer, a disease that has afflicted other members of her adoptive family. Writing from the twin perspectives of a survivor and a concerned scientist, she traces the high incidence of cancer and the terrifying concentrations of environmental toxins in her native rural Illinois. She goes on to show similar correlation in other communities, such as Boston and Long Island, and throughout the United States, where cancer rates have risen alarmingly since mid-century. At once a deeply moving personal document and a groundbreaking work of scientific detection, Living Downstream will be a touchstone for generations, reminding us of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the integrity of our air, land, and water.

"By skillfully weaving a strong personal drama with thorough scientific research, Steingraber tells a compelling story....Well worth reading."--Washington Post

Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey To Motherhood
ISBN: 0738204676

Da Capo Press. 2001

A brilliant writer, first-time mother, and respected biologist, Sandra Steingraber tells the month-by-month story of her own pregnancy, weaving in the new knowledge of embryology, the intricate development of organs, the emerging architecture of the brain, and the transformation of the mother's body to nourish and protect the new life. At the same time, she shows all the hazards that we are now allowing to threaten each precious stage of development, including the breast-feeding relationship between mothers and their newborns. In the eyes of an ecologist, the mother's body is the first environment, the mediator between the toxins in our food, water, and air and her unborn child.Never before has the metamorphosis of a few cells into a baby seemed so astonishingly vivid, and never before has the threat of environmental pollution to conception, pregnancy, and even to the safety of breast milk been revealed with such clarity and urgency. In Having Faith, poetry and science combine in a passionate call to action.A Merloyd Lawrence Book

Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)
ISBN: 0738213993

Da Capo Press. 2011

Nothing could be more important than the health of our children, and no one is better suited to examine the threats against it than Sandra Steingraber. Once called "a poet with a knife," she blends precise science with lyrical memoir. In Living Downstream she spoke as a biologist and cancer survivor

in Having Faith she spoke as an ecologist and expectant mother, viewing her own body as a habitat. Now she speaks as the scientist mother of two young children, enjoying and celebrating their lives while searching for ways to protect them--and all children--from the toxic, climate-threatened world they inhabit

Each chapter of this engaging and unique book focuses on one inevitable ingredient of childhood--everything from pizza to laundry to homework to the "Big Talk"--and explores the underlying social, political, and ecological forces behind it. Through these everyday moments, Steingraber demonstrates how closely the private, intimate world of parenting connects to the public world of policy-making and how the ongoing environmental crisis is, fundamentally, a crisis of family life.


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