Literary Arts’ Oregon Book Awards for 2022 have awarded the Sarah Winnemucca Book Award for Creative Nonfiction to Allison Cobb’s Plastic: An Autobiography with the following citation from John Freeman:
Plastic degrades so slowly, Allison Cobb writes in her exquisitely made hybrid memoir, it is beyond material, it becomes instantly metaphorical. What does it mean to triumph over death in this way while also delivering it, her book asks. Visiting with albatrosses in Hawaii that choke to death on plastic toothbrushes, recalling her upbringing in Los Alamos, a child of the bomb, Cobb searches for answers and finds more unsettling questions. She also creates a method of juxtaposition which allows these moral quandaries to hang in the air, albatross like, supported by the beauty of Cobb’s fashioning. Why have we created a culture of such wanton waste if we want to live on earth? In the long shelf of books interrogating our moment in the climate crisis, this memoir is a sharp, urgent breakthrough, a triumph of honesty.