Body Toxic

Body ToxicBody Toxic is an environmental memoir: A harrowing story of an immigrant family in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey–a hauntingly beautiful, hauntingly compromised landscape. With incalculable sadness, Susanne Antonetta presents families lost in the midst of the American dream.


  • New York Times Notable Book for 2001
  • American Book Award for 2001
  • One of the ten best memoirs of the year,
  • One of Library Journal‘s ten best science books of 2001
  • Award for best book of the year, Spirituality & Health
  • One of the ten best books of the year, Arizona Daily Sun
  • Best book, Science & Spirit


Antonetta’s considerable achievement in Body Toxic is to devise a literary voice for the people who live in such (sacrifice) places . . . What Antonetta has written is something new–a post psychological memoir . . . By the end of this dark, disturbing book you realize she has posed a challenge to our prevailing notions of science and journalism and even literary narrative.

—Michael Pollan, The New York Times

Bittersweet and spoked with startlingly poetic descriptions, Antonetta’s compelling blend of family history and musings on crimes against nature in the nuclear age opens a new chapter in the literature of place and offers a fresh and poignant look at the old story of inheritance.

—Booklist, starred review

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One comment on “Body Toxic
  1. […] family name, the name of a kind of a “lost” woman in my father’s family. I tell her story in Body Toxic. And my legal name was shortened by my father—it was originally Pietropaolo—so somehow it has […]

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