Life can be deadly — I found myself slipping into this kind of ambient paranoia while reading Emily Monosson’s unsettling new book ... Like The Last of Us, the video game and HBO series premised on a fungal pandemic turning people into zombies, Blight emphasizes the decidedly unsalutary things that fungi can do.
No background knowledge of fungi is required on the reader’s part. Although this is an expert’s account, grounded in exhaustive interviews with researchers at the forefront of mycology, the language is clear and plain. It’s an urgent message meant for a wide audience, and the tone is by turns alarming and reassuring ... The solutions she proposes sound simple. They include increasing genetic diversity in our crops, limiting trade in wild animals, and enacting testing protocols to be sure we don’t accidentally import a pathogen that could drive another species to extinction. But, as she acknowledges, none of these are easy to pull off in practice.
Updates the science and the current efforts to circumvent these diseases. Ms. Monosson’s writing is sober, well-organized and coherent, and the subject is fascinating. But what is unique about Blight is its timing.