Isolated in a remote field station in the middle of a tropical rainforest in the late 1960's, a young woman named Kirsten rebels against traditional female roles and wages a desperate struggle for intellectual, spiritual, personal, and sexual liberation from her biologist husband who views her as a piece of property and the creatures of the rainforest as specimens to be killed, stuffed, and catalogued. The result of this tangle of adultery and relentless tropical heat leads to murder, but of an unexpected victim.
First published in 1972 by Alta Gerry's legendary Shameless Hussy Press, Mary Mackey's Immersion was a ground-breaking novel written in a style simultaneously cinematic, poetic, and hallucinatory.
In an era when "ecology" was a word so unfamiliar that some were still spelling it "ekology," Mackey chose to make the ecology of the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica one of her primary themes, depicting the beauty and fragility of a complex natural ecosystem endangered by human incursions. In many ways, Kirsten seems more a woman of the early twenty-first century than a woman of her own time, and in creating her, Mackey gives us a vision of the early stages of Second Wave feminism. Immersion was the first feminist novel published by a Second Wave feminist press, and is thus quite possibly the first eco-feminist novel ever published.